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Nigerian court: Life in prison for church bomb

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 20, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.

ABUJA, Nigeria — A Nigerian court has sentenced the alleged mastermind of a 2011 Christmas bombing of a Catholic Church to life in prison — but for other terrorist attacks.

At least 44 people died when a car bomb exploded on Christmas Day outside St. Theresa's church near Abuja, the capital.

The Federal High Court said Kabiru Sokoto, 30, was guilty of terrorism and murder.

Judge Adeniyi Ademola handed down the life sentence for "facilitating the commission of terrorist acts" in northern Sokoto state between 2007 and 2012, including last year's bombing of the police headquarters in Sokoto city.

He sentenced Sokoto to an additional 10 years in jail for knowing in advance that the Boko Haram terrorist network planned to bomb the church on Christmas, but failing to notify law enforcement officers.

Sokoto, who was also known as Kabiru Umar, pleaded innocent and argued that the state failed to provide evidence linking him to the bombing.

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