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Algeria's Ex-Counterespionage Chief to Stand Trial


Algeria's long-time counterespionage chief who helped lead the country's war on Islamist extremists is going before a military tribunal for an unusual trial.

Abdelkader Ait Ouarabi, best known as Gen. Hassan, faces trial Thursday in Oran on charges of “destruction of documents” and “breach of orders.” But the grounds for the charges have not been made clear.

The Algerian press has reported that he is accused of arms possession and creating an armed organization.

The general was one of several top-level forced departures over the past two years within the security services.

For two decades Hassan embodied Algeria's battle against Islamist extremists, which erupted after the army canceled 1991 legislative elections to thwart a win by an Islamic fundamentalist party. Ensuing violence left an estimated 200,000 people dead.