Algerian faces life in jail over Paris metro bombings

13th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

French prosecutors on Monday asked a court to confirm a sentence of life in prison in the appeal trial of an Algerian accused of plotting the 1995 Paris metro bombings.

Rachid Ramda was given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 22 years during his previous trial in 2007 for the attacks that left eight dead and more than 200 injured.

The 40-year-old defendant has repeatedly denied accusations that he colluded with the militant Armed Islamic Group (GIA) to fund the three bombings on Paris metro stations.

The biggest attack was on the Saint-Michel station in the heart of the capital which left eight people dead and 150 injured. The others, on the Musee d'Orsay and Maison-Blanche metro stations, left dozens injured.

"On behalf of the French republic, I am called upon to do everything in my power to ensure you can never do this again," said public attorney Anne Vosgien.

Ramda "remains the same man that he was in 1995, still walking on the path of fanaticism," she said.

During the appeals trial, Ramda's defence lawyers renewed their arguments that their client is a victim of a plot by Algerian secret services to silence political opponents.

A verdict is expected on Tuesday.

Ramda was extradited from Britain in December 2005 after a 10-year legal battle. He had already been sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a separate French court on other charges related to the bombings.


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