Trial of Algerian over European tourist kidnappings delayed
The trial of an Algerian Islamist implicated in the kidnapping of 32 European tourists in the Sahara desert in 2003 was delayed by a court in Algiers on Tuesday because of the defence team's absence.
Kamel Djermane, an aide to the former number two in the now defunct Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) Amari Saifi alias Abderrazak El-Para, appeared in court charged with "belonging to an armed terrorist group, arms trafficking and kidnapping foreigners."
Judge Meriem Djebbari delayed the trial until the next criminal session, which is due to begin in September.
"The delay of the trial was expected and our absence was voluntary. We demand the appearance of the instigator of the kidnappings Abderrazak El-Para," Djermane's defence lawyer Amine Sidhoum told AFP.
The Algerian authorities have accused Saifi (Abderrazak El-Para) of being primarily responsible for the kidnappings of the tourists, from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands, who were seized in groups while travelling across the Algerian Sahara. (...)