Defence: No evidence against Okah

2010-10-20 14:22
Johannesburg – The State had no case against suspected Nigerian bombing mastermind Henry Okah as it had failed to bring evidence in front of the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, defence lawyer Rudi Krause said on Wednesday.

Speaking at Okah's bail application, Krause told the court that the State had not provided solid evidence linking Okah to the bombings.

"That is because it (the evidence) does not exist."

The defence insisted that the case against the 45-year-old Okah was flawed and that the evidence presented to the court by the State did not prove his involvement in the twin car bombings which resulted in the death of 12 people in Nigerian capital Abuja on October 1

"Contradicting statements from Nigeria about who was responsible for the bombings should not be relied on as evidence," Krause said.

He submitted that two search and seizure operations conducted by police at Okah's home were an indication that the State had a weak case against his client.

Without reasonable belief

The fact that investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Zeeman conducted a raid without obtaining a search warrant, was an indication that he did not have "reasonable belief" that he would be granted the document.

Krause said Okah's arrest and his subsequent prosecution was an attempt by South African authorities to appease their Nigerian counterparts.

He told the court not to accept excerpts taken from Okah's diaries, as these were written in 2007, before he was granted amnesty by the Nigerian government.

Had the notes which included a list of high calibre weapons referred to bombings, Krause said, then they would have been relevant to the case.

Okah faces charges of engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activity, and delivering, placing and detonating an explosive device.
- SAPA
Read more on:    henry okah  |  niger  |  nigeria  |  johannesburg  |  west africa
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