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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 14:34 GMT
Malaysia hangs three for witchcraft murder
Relatives bury Mona Fandey
Relatives bury "witchdoctor" Mona Fandey
Three people have been hanged in Malaysia for the 1993 murder of a member of the state assembly in a black-magic ritual.

The trio had exhausted all avenues of appeal after being sentenced to death in 1995 for the murder of the politician, Mazlan Idris two years earlier.

During a sensational trial, the court heard how the witchdoctor couple and their assistant chopped Mr Mazlan's body into pieces and used his money on shopping sprees and plastic surgery.

Mr Mazlan, an US educated assemblyman in central Pahang state, had originally approached Malaysian witchdoctor, Mona Fandey for supernatural help to boost his political career.

Trickery

Fandey, 45, her husband Mohamed Affandi Abdul Rahman, 44, and helper Juraimi Hussin, 31, took part in a ritual in which the politician was persuaded to lie on the floor, close his eyes, and wait for money to "fall from the sky".

He was then beheaded with an axe, skinned, and his body cut into 18 pieces before being buried in a cement-covered hole.

The trial was told the motive was money - within hours the couple went shopping in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Fandey paid for a facelift for herself.

Fancy outfits

During the trial, Fandey - real name Maznah Ismail - attracted publicity by regularly modelling glamourous outfits. She also claimed to have provided politician clients in the ruling Umno party with a variety of charms and talismans.

A prison official said the trio expressed no remorse at the pre-dawn execution.

The case has led to calls for witchcraft to be outlawed.

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