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Algeria sentences Liberian to death over espionage for Israel

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An Algerian criminal court has awarded death penalty to a Lebanese-born Liberian national over a case of spying for Israel. The court also sentenced six individuals from Guinea and Mali to 10 years in jail in the same case.

A legal source said on Tuesday that the “Ghardaïa court south of Algeria has condemned seven individuals of different African nationalities on a case related to espionage for Israel.”

“The main accused Elm al-Deen Faisal, a Liberian national, earned death penalty, while six others were sentenced to 10-year imprisonment. Each one of them will also pay an $8,000 fine,” the source added.

The seven defendants were arrested in an Algerian police operation in the city of Ghardaïa, 600 kilometers south of Algiers, in January 2015. They were found with documents and communications equipment, which prosecutors said were related to spying for Israel.

The defendants’ lawyers claimed that “the evidence is inadequate and incoherent, therefore charges cannot be made based on a delicate and sensitive issue such as espionage.”