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Britain extradites disgraced tycoon Khalifa to Algeria

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-24

Rafik Khalifa, a former business tycoon from Algeria who once owned an airline and a string of companies, was extradited to his homeland from Britain on Tuesday, the APS news agency reported.

"Mr Khalifa was refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on December 3,” a British Home Office spokesman said last week, adding that he would be removed from British soil within 28 days.

Once considered the "golden boy" of Algeria, Khalifa rose from obscurity to build an empire including a bank, an airline and television stations.

The 47-year-old at one time employed 20,000 people in Algeria and Europe.

He took refuge in Britain in 2003 when his business collapsed, costing the Algerian state and individual savers between 1.1 billion and 3.6 billion euros.

He was arrested by the British authorities in 2007 following a French extradition request, and had remained in the country since then.

Algeria tried him in absentia in 2007, finding him guilty for criminal involvement and fraud and sentenced to life in prison, and demanding his extradition from the UK.

He is to go into an appeal hearing on his return to Algeria.

French authorities still want to extradite Khalifa on fraud and embezzlement charges, but the Algerian request takes precedence.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2013-12-24

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