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Africa News of Thursday, 4 February 2021

Source: africanews.com

Trial for murder of Frenchman Hervé Gourdel postponed to February 18

The trial in the murder case of Frenchman Hervé Gourdel has been postponed to February 18. His case opened in Algiers Thursday 7 years after the high-mountain guide was beheaded by jihadists in Algeria.

Fourteen people are facing trial. They include 8 alleged kidnappers, 5 Algerian hosts, an accompanying Frenchman and a man whose link with the case has not been specified, according to a court document cited by AFP.

Only one suspect implicated in kidnapping and executing Gourdel appeared before the court in Algiers, according to lawyers.

"Our family is very happy. It's good that this trial is finally taking place," the partner of the mountaineer Francoise Grandclaude, who filed a civil action the day after his death in September 2014 told AFP.

"This trial, which is taking place abroad, is first of all very personal for me. Perhaps it will offer "hope for the families and loved ones of victims affected by terrorism", she added.

The Algerian Abdelmalek Hamzaoui faces the death penalty if convicted. Also to appear before the court are five accompanying persons, Karim Oukara, Hamza Boukamoum, Oussama Dehendi, Amine Ayache and Kamel Saâdi, who were abducted with him but released after 14 hours. They have been accused of delaying in informing of the abduction of the Frenchman.

At the time, the Ministry of Defense had said the information had been "communicated late" and that the kidnappers had had time to flee.

In Algeria, failure to report crimes is punishable by five years in prison.

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