Algerian extremist to stand trial for Paris bombings

10th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 10, 2007 (AFP) - An Algerian extremist accused of financing the deadly 1995 bombings in the Paris metro that left eight dead is to stand trial before a Paris criminal court in October, a judicial source said Tuesday.

PARIS, April 10, 2007 (AFP) - An Algerian extremist accused of financing the deadly 1995 bombings in the Paris metro that left eight dead is to stand trial before a Paris criminal court in October, a judicial source said Tuesday.

Rachid Ramda, who was extradited from Britain in December 2005 after a 10-year legal battle, faces a possible life sentence if he is convicted. The case will open on October 1 and is expected to last one month.

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 that left eight dead and 200 injured in 1995, acting for the militant Armed Islamic Group (GIA) which has been fighting the Algerian government since 1992.

He has refused during questioning by anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere to answer the charges, said Ramda's lawyer Guillaume Barbe, who said his client would await his day in court to explain his actions.

In 1993, Ramda was sentenced to death in absentia in Algeria over an attack on Algiers airport that left nine dead and 123 wounded.

He had fought a protracted battle in Britain against extradition to France on the grounds that he may be unlawfully sent back to Algeria to face the death penalty, which the French authorities denied.

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.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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