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French criminal gets 17-year sentence for jail break

Antonio "Nino" Ferrara was condemned to serve a 17-year prison term for a spectacular military-style jail break in 2003 organised by his fellow gang members.

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REUTERS - A French court handed down Monday a 17-year prison term to Antonio "Nino" Ferrara for a spectacular 2003 jail break involving automatic weapons and explosives.

Ferrara, 35, a notorious armoured car robber, was sprung from Fresnes prison outside Paris on March 12, 2003 in a military-style raid by his fellow gang members.

One of his former lawyers, Karim Achoui, was sentenced to seven years in prison for complicity.

A prison guard was handed a 12-year term for abetting Ferrara's escape, and 12 others received terms ranging from suspended sentences to 11 years in jail. Two people were acquitted.

Some 70 police were stationed in the courtroom, where relatives shouted insults and threats as the sentences were handed down.

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