Algerian extremist on trial for metro bombings
1 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - An Algerian extremist accused of financing the deadly 1995 bombings in the Paris metro that left eight dead and 200 injured goes on trial Monday before a Paris criminal court.
1 October 2007
PARIS (AFP) - An Algerian extremist accused of financing the deadly 1995 bombings in the Paris metro that left eight dead and 200 injured goes on trial Monday before a Paris criminal court.
Rachid Ramda, 38, who was extradited from Britain in December 2005 after a 10-year legal battle, faces a possible life sentence if convicted at the outcome of the month-long trial.
In March last year he was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a separate French tribunal on terrorism charges.
Ramda allegedly helped fund the attacks on three Paris metro stations in 1995, acting for the militant Armed Islamic Group (GIA) which has been fighting the Algerian government since 1992.
Ramda had fought a protracted battle in Britain against extradition to France on the ground that he may be unlawfully sent back to Algeria to face the death penalty.
In 1993, Ramda was sentenced to death in absentia in Algeria over an attack on Algiers airport that left nine dead and 123 wounded.
British authorities suspected Ramda of being "one of the leaders of GIA in Europe" and editor of the Al Ansar newsletter for GIA, according to a source close to the prosecution.
Records of phone calls and documents discovered in London show that Ramda served as a go-between for extremists in France and GIA leader Djamel Zitouni.
Subject: French news