Exorcist sentenced to death for killing children in Burma
A self-styled exorcist who killed three children during a ritual he carried out after telling their parents they were possessed by evil spirits has been sentenced to death in Burma.
Tun Naing was sentenced at a court in Thanlyin over the deaths of two girls, aged eight months and two years old, and a three-year-old boy, a police officer in the township said.
The children suffered fatal injuries last October when Tun Naing punched and kicked them.
Superstition and belief in spirits are common in Burma, especially in rural villages in the Buddhist-dominated country.
Tun Naing had pleaded guilty when he was brought to trial in November last year, telling the court: "I lost control of my mind and I killed them."
The 30-year-old received an additional sentence of seven years in prison for severely injuring a four-year-old girl in a separate ceremony in another village.
Witnesses to that incident alerted the police, who arrested him.
Death sentences are rare in Burma and none have been carried out since 1988.
However, the death penalty is still applied when there is clear evidence of a capital crime such as murder, said Kyaw Myint, a veteran lawyer.