A file picture of a screengrab taken on October 2, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Militant group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau gesturing as he delivers a speech. (AFP PHOTO / HO / BOKO HARAM)
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The trial of more than 1,600 people suspected of ties with Boko Haram was expected to begin in Nigeria on Monday behind closed doors, in the biggest legal investigation into the eight-year militant Islamist insurgency.Nigeria's ministry of justice said last month the trial of around 1,670 people held at the Kainji detention facility would begin at the site, in the central Niger state, on Monday and would be presided over by four judges.However, Fatima Akilu -- who headed the government's counter violent extremism programme under the previous administration -- said secrecy was needed to encourage witnesses and judges to take part in the trials because Nigeria does not have a witness protection programme.
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