Expelled Islamist militant to be retried

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Algeria plans to retry an Islamist expelled by France and suspected of being a spiritual tutor to militants who carried out attacks in 2015, official sources said.

Djamel Beghal was flown to Algeria on Monday after serving a sentence for taking part in the attempted jailbreak of a prominent Algerian militant imprisoned in France.

Beghal, who held both Algerian and French nationalities, was stripped of French citizenship.

Official sources who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed a report by Algerian state news agency APS saying Beghal, convicted in absentia in Algeria in 2003 of belonging to a terrorist group, would be retried now he was in the country.

One source said he could benefit from an amnesty law Algeria passed as it tried to reintegrate former militants after an Islamist insurgency in the 1990s.



French investigators suspect Beghal of being a mentor to Cherif Kouachi, one of two brothers who attacked the satirical daily Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and to Amedy Coulibaly, who days later killed four people in the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket and a policewoman.