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Algeria - France

Algeria jails three alleged French spies

AFP/Fayez Nureldine
2 min

Two former Algerian soldiers and a computer specialist have been jailed for ten years after being convicted of spying for France. The Algerian media reported Saturday that the three men were tried and convicted for treason and support of a terrorist group. 

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Prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence for military officials Boucharma Khemissi, 41, and Redha Heroual, 29, and computer specialist Oumkima Nacer Eddine.

They were accused of providing information to the French authorities.

One of Heroual’s sisters was also convicted for not reporting the crime, and given a six-month prison term.

According to court documents quoted in the Algerian press, one of the soldiers turned himself in to the Algerian secret services in July 2009, saying he was recruited by a French military official, who promised him legal residence in France.

The three were asked to provide photos of secure locations, including ministries, police stations and nuclear reactors. They were also asked for information about one of President Abdelaziz Boutelfika’s bodyguards and a Russian national working for the Algerian army.

The two military officials were asked by consular officials to give false testimony in accusing the Algerian army of being responsible for the deaths of seven monks at the monastery of Tibéhirine in 1996, witnesses told the court. The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) had taken responsibility for the killings.

French diplomatic sources say this is an internal Algerian affair, and  that France has nothing to do with the trial.

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