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Man linked to al Qaeda murders of French tourists gets six years

A man connected to Al-Qaeda has been sentenced to six years prison with hard labour for his role in a kidnapping in which four French tourists were killed in 2007.


AFP - A Mauritanian court convicted a man charged with an Al-Qaeda-linked attack in which four French tourists were killed in 2007, sentencing him to six years hard labour.

"The verdict was handed down for the first (defendant) to have appeared, Abdallahi Ould Mohamed Sidya. He was sentenced to six years of prison with hard labour," said his lawyer, Ahmed Ould Ely, after leaving the courtroom.

Abdallahi Ould Mohamed Sidya was also fined the equivalent of 7,000 euros (8,900 dollars), according to prosecutors who had been seeking a 30-year jail term.

A total of 12 people are on trial at Noukchaott's criminal court over the December 2007 shooting of five French tourists outside the southern town of Aleg, in which four were killed and the fifth seriously wounded.

Three Mauritanians linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who are accused of having pulled the triggers, are expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Ahmed Ould Ely said the verdict was "very hard" given what was proven against his client and that they would file an appeal.


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