France - Algeria

Parole for forced-abort singer

Lucille Reyboz /

Music star Cheb Mami will be paroled less than two years into a five-year sentence for trying to make an ex-girlfriend undergo a forced abortion, his lawyer said Wednesday. Mami, who is serving time in Malun, south of Paris, will be freed on 23 March, according to lawyer Khaled Lasbeur.


This decision is "a victory", said Lasbeur, "we've been waiting for this for a long time," he added.

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, a 43-year-old photographer whose name was withheld.

She was brought to Mami's villa in Algiers and drugged after revealing she was pregnant with his child. Two women and a man then tried to perform an abortion on her.

The woman returned to France and learned that her pregnancy had not been terminated and she gave birth to a girl.

Mami produced several chart-topping records in France in the 1990s. His best-known single is the 2001 hit Desert Rose that he sung with British pop star Sting.

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