‘Black Magic’ Serial Killer to Be Executed

JAKARTA ~ An Indonesian man who murdered 42 women in “black magic” rituals aimed at increasing his supernatural powers will soon be executed by firing squad, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

Self-proclaimed shaman Ahmad Suraji was sentenced to death in 1998 after police found the women’s bodies buried in a sugar cane field in North Sumatra.

Suraji confessed to police that he strangled most of the women and drank their saliva after they came to him for supernatural help with their finances and love life. He said the saliva improved his magical powers.

Indonesia is mainly Muslim but some people still believe in black magic.

Suraji’s execution was approved after his second application for clemency was rejected by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, senior prosecutor Abdul Hakim Ritonga said.

“Based on that rejection, we decided to execute him. We have ordered local officials to carry out all the preparations,” Ritonga said.

The serial killer is one of five Indonesians set to be executed “soon”, Ritonga said, while declining to give specific dates.

A security officer at the North Sumatra prison where Suraji sits on death row, who identified himself as Budi, said no official order had been received for the execution.

Suraji’s wife Tumini, the oldest of three sisters all married to the convicted serial killer, was also sentenced to death for her role in the killings. No date has been set for her execution.

Executions in Indonesia are by firing squad, usually carried out at night in isolated and undisclosed locations. The prisoner is notified of his execution date at least 72 hours beforehand.

Indonesia executed two Nigerian nationals for drug trafficking last week.

Three Indonesian men convicted over the Bali bombings which killed more than 200 people in 2002 are also awaiting execution.

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