Okah awaits sentencing

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IOL pic jan31 court okah Independent Newspapers The sentencing of Nigerian Henry Okah, convicted on 13 charges of terrorist activities, is expected to start in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.

Johannesburg - The sentencing of Nigerian Henry Okah, convicted on 13 charges of terrorist activities, was expected to start in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.

On January 21, Judge Neels Claassen found Okah guilty of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device and said the State proved Okah was guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Claassen said Okah's failure to testify meant evidence against him remained uncontested.

Twelve people were killed and 36 injured in the car bombs on October 1, 2010, the anniversary of Nigeria's independence. Okah was arrested in Johannesburg the next day.

He was also found guilty on terrorism charges relating to two explosions in March 2010 in the southern Nigerian city of Warri.

Claassen found no evidence that Okah did not head the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which claimed responsibility for the blasts.

Okah denied any involvement in the blasts and said the charges against him were politically motivated.

South Africa tried him as part of its international obligation, as the Nigerian authorities had not applied for his extradition, according to the prosecution. - Sapa


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