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Freed Charlie Hebdo attackers' mentor to face retrial in Algeria

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A courtroom sketch of Djamel Beghal at his appeal in 2014 BENOIT PEYRUCQ / AFP

Islamist Djamel Beghal, who ended a 10-year prison sentence in France on Monday, is to face a retrial in Algeria, where he has been deported, the APS news agency reported Tuesday.


Beghal was freed on Monday on condition that he be deported to Algeria, the country he left at the age of 21.

He had already been stripped of his French nationality.

Beghal was tried in absentia in Algeria in 2003 and sentenced to 20 years for membership of a terrorist organisation.

He served two prison sentences in France, the second for plotting the escape of Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem, who was behind the 1995 bombing of the Paris regional transport network on behalf of the Armed Islamic Groups, which were at the time fighting a civil war against the Algerian government.

In prison he befriended Chérif Kouachi and Amédy Coulibaly, who, along with Chérif's brother Saïd, carried out the January 2015 attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket.

Investigators regarded him as their mentor.