July 17, 2018 / 8:41 PM / a month ago

Algerian militant suspect expelled by France will be retried: sources

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria plans to retry an Islamist expelled by France and suspected of being a spiritual tutor to two militants who carried out attacks in 2015, official sources said on Tuesday.

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 had held both Algerian and French nationalities, was stripped of his French citizenship.

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

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

French investigators suspect Beghal of having been 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.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Hugh Lawson

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