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French Court Sentences Algerian for Funding Terror Attacks

Lisa Bryant

An Algerian Islamist has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for financing a wave of terrorist attacks in France in 1995. Rachid Ramda is facing another trial for his alleged participation in the attacks.

The sentence by a Paris criminal court came as no surprise. Rachid Ramda has served his sentence already in Britain, as Paris and London waged a decade-long extradition battle.

Ramda was finally extradited to France last December. He was convicted for financing the terrorists who carried out the 1995 bombings, and for providing logistical support.

During the trial, Ramda pleaded innocent to the attacks in three Paris metros that killed 10 people and injured roughly 200 others. He expressed sympathy for the victims. The bombings took place at the height of clashes in Algeria between Islamist extremists and the country's military-backed government.

Terrorists targeted France as well, for allegedly backing Algiers. Ramda was accused of being a senior member of Algeria's Islamist GIA terrorist group in Europe at the time.

Francoise Rudetzki, head of a French victims group, SOS Attentats, says she is satisfied with the sentencing.

Rudetzki says Ramda is paying for his role as financier of the attacks. Now, she says, he must respond to accusations he participated directly in the bombings.

Ramda remains in prison pending a second, separate trial, in which he is charged with murder in the 1995 bombings. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The trial has not been scheduled.

 

 

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