Defence wants Okah’s trial in Nigeria

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER

Nigerian Henry Okah was convicted on 13 charges of terrorist activities by the High Court in Johannesburg.. File photo: Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - The defence team for Nigerian terrorism accused Henry Okah is expected to bring forward an application on Friday for the Johannesburg High Court to sit in Nigeria.

This comes after an IT forensic analyst - called in for Okah’s defence - concluded his second day under cross-examination on Wednesday.

Okah’s lawyer, Lucky Maunatlala, will argue on Friday why the court would have to travel to Nigeria to hear the evidence of two defence witnesses who are in prison over the same charges Okah faces.

Maunatlala told the court he had also subpoenaed other witnesses in Nigeria to testify.

Okah is said to be the leader of the rebel militant group the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend).

He moved to South Africa after he and other militants were granted amnesty in 2009, following their agreement with the Nigerian government that they would work towards peace.

It is alleged that Okah organised and orchestrated two car bombings on March 15, 2010 and on Nigerian Independence Day on October 1, 2010 from his home in Bassonia, Joburg.

The IT analyst - who cannot be named - was brought in to scrutinise e-mails already presented before court by cyber analyst Captain Charles Marais.

The e-mails in question were sourced from Yahoo accounts of Okah, his wife Azuka and Mend spokesman Jomo Gbomo (an alleged Okah alias).

The witness testified that he saw no link between the IP addresses of the three e-mails, contradicting Marais’s evidence.

vuyo.mkhize@inl.co.za

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