ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A Nigerian court on Tuesday charged the leader of a Boko Haram splinter group with the murder of several foreigners.
Nigerian High Court documents obtained by The Associated Press say Khalid al-Barnawi and six others face charges that include hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit terrorism.
They pleaded not guilty at the court in the capital, Abuja. The judge ordered that they be remanded to Kuje prison in the capital.
Al-Barnawi is accused of kidnapping and killing British national Christopher McManus and others working in Nigeria. McManus, a construction worker, was killed in March 2012 as Nigerian and British forces attempted a rescue operation. Also killed was Franco Lamolinara of Italy. They had been held for almost a year.
Al-Barnawi also is accused of kidnapping and killing a French national and German national. In addition, he and others are accused of killing seven other foreigners in 2013 at a forest hideout in northeast Nigeria and burying them in a shallow grave.
Al-Barnawi's wife, Halima Haliru, is charged with concealing information about the Ansaru organization, a splinter group of the Nigeria-based Boko Haram Islamic insurgency.