Nine suspected Islamists charged over France jail break plot

23rd May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Nine suspected Islamists were charged with plotting a jail break to free one of the authors of the 1995 bomb attacks in Paris that left eight dead and hundreds wounded, officials said.

The nine were among a group of 14 suspects arrested on Tuesday in connection with the plot to break out Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, an Algerian serving a life sentence for one of the metro attacks that wounded 30 people.

One of the suspects, Djamel Beghal, was convicted in 2005 for plotting to bomb the US embassy in Paris and was awaiting a decision from the European rights court on his challenge of a deportation order to Algeria.

Beghal's lawyer Berenger Tourne said after the charges were laid late Saturday that "there is no case against my client and I am appealing against his detention, which is scandalous."

Three other suspects were said to be part of a Paris group that recruited fighters for Iraq.

All nine have been charged with terrorism offenses and one was released under strict conditions that he report to judicial authorities.

Police arrested the suspected plotters who had been wiretapped and under surveillance, according to sources close to the investigation.

© 2010 AFP

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