Senior terrorist sentenced to death in absentia in Algeria

| October 16, 2017 |
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Oran, Algeria
ALGIERS, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- An Algerian court on Sunday sentenced in absentia running away senior terrorist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, alias Belaouar, to death penalty, APS news agency reported.

The sentence has been pronounced by the prosecutor of the Criminal Court of Oran, western Algeria, as Belmokhtar, leader of the terrorist group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was charged by the creation and management of a terrorist organization, abduction as well as arm detention and trafficking.

The case dates back to April 2011. Detectives concluded that there was a terrorist plot to kidnap foreign nationals, specifically workers in charge of the construction of Oran tramway.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, was the mastermind of this plot, as he was first tried in absentia in 2012. By then 8 other defendants were also tried, including three in absentia, and 5 others were present at the court.

Among these five defendants, four were sentenced to life prison, while the fifth defendant was set free due to lack of evidence.

The prosecutor of the Criminal Court of Oran has reopened the case and sentenced in absentia Belmokhtar and his three companions to death penalty.

It worth to recall that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, alias Belaouer (the one eyed) claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack that targeted a gas field in the Algerian desert in January 16th 2013.

Al-Qaida linked militants attacked the gas field of Tiguentourine, in Illizi province, 1700 km southeast of Algiers and took some 800 workers as hostages, forcing the Algerian special forces to storm the field and release the hostages.

This rescue operation left more than 37 dead, including 36 foreigners. As many as 29 assailants were killed, while three others were captured alive, according to an official report.

Source: Xinhua, October 16, 2017


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