'Witch' boy killers jailed for life in UK<cite class="byline vcard">AFP – <abbr title="2012-03-05T14:45:46Z">9 hrs ago</abbr></cite>
A Congolese couple were jailed for life on Monday for torturing and drowning a teenage boy they accused of being a witch.
Kristy Bamu, 15, died on Christmas Day 2010 after days of abuses by his sister Magalie, 29, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, 28 in an exorcism ritual.
He had come to London from Paris with his two brothers and two sisters to spend the festive season with Magalie.
But the couple, who were said to be obsessed with witchcraft known as kindoki in their native Democratic Republic of Congo, accused him of putting spells on a younger child.
Football coach Bikubi and Magalie were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey last week.
Bikubi must serve at least 30 years and Bamu a minimum of 25 years.
Kristy had 130 separate injuries when he was found dead in a bath at their tower block flat in Newham, east London, prosecutors said during the Old Bailey trial.
Bikubi had beaten all the children after accusing them of bringing kindoki -- or voodoo -- into his home, but he reserved particular violence for Kristy, subjecting him to three days of attacks with knives, metal bars and a hammer.
The teenager had his teeth knocked out, ceramic floor tiles and bottles were smashed on his head and a pair of pliers was used to twist his ear.
He was in such pain that he "begged to die", the jury heard. When he was put in the bath by Bikubi, "he was just too badly injured and exhausted to resist or to keep his head above the water", prosecuting lawyer Brian Altman said.
Describing a "prolonged attack of unspeakable savagery and brutality", Altman said: "Kristy was killed in the name of witchcraft.
"It is hard to believe in this day and age anyone can believe someone was practising witchcraft."
Dr. Richard Hoskins, an expert witness who has studied kindoki for 25 years, told the trial that belief in it is "extremely widespread" among Congolese people, including those in Britain.
"Even here in London and amongst educated people, I've met lots and spoken with lots of people who believe in kindoki and think it has power," he said.
Kristy's sisters, aged 20 and 11, were also beaten but were let off after agreeing to confess to being possessed. The other two brothers, a 13-year-old and a 22-year-old with autism, were made to join in the torture.