The leader of a Boko Haram splinter group in Nigeria Khalid al-Barnawi has appeared in court on charges related to the abduction and murder of 10 foreigners, including European and Arab nationals.

Barnawi, the leader of Ansaru, pleaded not guilty.

He also denied the charges during a court appearance last year.

Barnawi was asked to plead again after a new judge took over the case.

The previous judge recused himself after the militant said he did not trust him.

Most of the hostages – including British, German, Lebanese and Syrian nationals – were killed and buried in shallow graves.

The abductions took place between 2011 and 2013 in the northern Nigerian states of Kebbi, Kano and Bauchi.

The victims included British engineer Chris McManus and his Italian colleague Franco Lamoniara, who were killed by their captors during a failed attempt by British special-forces to rescue them.

Barnawi was arrested by the military in 2016 in central Kogi state.

The US had placed a $5m (£3.5m) bounty on his head after branding him one of three Nigerian “specially designated global terrorists” in 2012.

Ansaru is a splinter group of Nigeria’s largest militant Islamist group, Boko Haram.

It is ideologically aligned to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Barnawi has been charged with seven others over the abductions and murders.

The case has been adjourned to 9 April.