Nigeria terror suspect will face January trial in S.Africa

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The man accused of masterminding Nigeria's deadly independence day blasts last year will face trial in South Africa in January, prosecutors said Thursday.

Henry Okah, a Nigerian national with permanent residence in South Africa, is charged with terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and discharge of explosives in connection with the twin car bombings that killed 12 people in Abuja on October 1, 2010.

He also faces terrorism charges in connection with two explosions on March 15 last year in the southern Nigerian city of Warri, a major hub of the country's oil-rich Delta region.

"The matter was transferred to the high court," where Okah will face trial from January 30, prosecution spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga told AFP.

Okah has denied involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

Prosecutors say Okah is the leader of MEND, which says it is fighting to give the people of the Delta more access to the region's oil wealth.

Okah has denied being the group's leader.

© 2011 AFP

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