Singer to be paroled in France in forced abortion case

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Music star Cheb Mami, known as the "Prince of Rai", is to be paroled less than two years into a five-year sentence for trying to make an ex-lover undergo a forced abortion, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The singer is to be freed on March 23, lawyer Khaled Lasbeur told AFP in Melun, south of Paris, where Mami was jailed. Lasbeur called the decision "a victory... we've been waiting for this for a long time."

The 42-year-old Algerian-born singer, whose real name is Mohamed Khelifati, was jailed in July 2009 after two years on the run. He returned to France to face trial for the 2005 assault against his ex-girlfriend.

Mami produced several chart-topping records in France in the 1990s and reached international stardom in 2001 with the hit "Desert Rose" sung with British pop star Sting.

The victim, a 43-year-old photographer whose name was withheld, was sequestered and drugged in Mami's villa in Algiers in the summer of 2005 after revealing she was pregnant with his child. Two women and a man then tried to carry out an abortion on her.

Returning to France, the woman learned that her pregnancy had not been terminated and went on to have the child -- a girl.

© 2011 AFP

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