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France

Pop star Cheb Mami on trial in forced abortion case

©

Video by FRANCE 3

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-07-03

French-Algerian pop star Cheb Mami appears in a Paris court today on charges of attempting a forced abortion on his former partner. He was arrested on Monday after evading capture for two years in Algeria.

"Little prince of Rai" French-Algerian pop star Cheb Mami appeared in a Paris suburb court today to face charges of attempting a forced abortion on his former partner.

 

42-year-old Mami, whose real name is Ahmed Khelifati Mohamed, shot to international fame after recording with Sting for the number one single “Desert Rose”. He is an international proponent of “Rai”, a North African folk music tradition.

 

After two years in flight in Algeria, Mami was arrested on Monday. He faces a possible 10 years in prison and a 150,000 euro fine.

 

The singer claims that his ex-manager Maurice Levy was responsible for the crime. Levy also appeared in court on the same charges. Two companions of Mami, Abdelkader Lallali and Hicham Lazaar, also charged, were not present in court.

 

In August 2005, his former partner Camille ( not her real name), a magazine photographer, says that she was abducted and held against her will in an Algiers villa, after having told the singer that she was pregnant.

 

There, she said she was drugged and an abortion forcibly performed on her by two women and a man.

 

But after being released she realised that the procedure had not been successful, and subsequently gave birth to a girl, now three years of age.

 

The trial is to last a day, with a judgement that could come immediately.
 

Date created : 2009-07-02

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