Nigerian bomb suspect loses bail appeal in South Africa

23:41, January 07, 2011      

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Nigerian bombing suspect Henry Okah on Friday lost his appeal against a South African court not to grant him bail.

South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) told the South African Press Association (SAPA) that Okah's appeal was dismissed by the Randburg High Court in northern Johannesburg.

Okah was in Johannesburg prison.

NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said the judge held that there were not sufficient reasons to alter an earlier decision by the Johannesburg Magistrates Court.

The judge also indicated he was convinced that there was a prima facie case against Okah, and found no exceptional circumstances to justify the granting of bail, Mhaga said.

The NPA said it is confident that even if the ruling is taken to South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal, it will be dismissed.

Okah was detained in Johannesburg shortly after twin car bombings in Abuja, Nigeria on Oct. 1, 2010, which killed 12 people and injured 36.

In South Africa he faces charges of terrorism.

Mhaga said on Friday that investigations are still underway.

South African prosecuting authorities are in constant engagement with law enforcement authorities in Nigeria because the crime was committed in Nigeria, Mhaga said.

South African prosecutors say Okah is the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), which claimed responsibility for the Nigerian Independence Day bombings.

Okah's brother Charles and three others have been denied bail in a Nigerian court.

Source: Xinhua
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