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Suspected Algerian bomber deported.

A suspected terrorist accused of plotting a train bombing which killed eight people is to be deported to France.

Rachid Ramda, a 35-year-old Algerian, has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle and held in custody in the UK for ten years.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has now authorised a request for him to be handed over to French authorities to face trial.

Ramda, who has been imprisoned at HMP Belmarsh, in south London, is accused of plotting a Paris train bombing in 1995 which killed eight people.

He has also been wanted by French authorities in connection with the planning and financing of a series of bombings in France between August and November 1995.

The terrorist campaign was widely attributed to the GIA (Groupe Islamique Arme), the Algerian militant organisation which has sought to overthrow the country's government and install an Islamic state.

Ramda was arrested in Britain in 1995 at the request of French authorities, but in 2002 the High Court refused to extradite him after it discovered flaws in some of the evidence against him provided by France.

It also ruled that French authorities had used torture and ill-treatment of another man to aid their case against Ramda.

That ruling was overturned following the submission of new evidence and a hearing in 2003, at Bow Street Magistrates' Court, ordered that he should be returned to face trial in Paris.

A Home Office spokesman said that a decision on the second of two requests to extradite Ramda has now been finalised and he will be deported.

The attacks in France in 1995 began with the bombing of a regional train service at St Michel station in Paris, when eight people died and 80 were wounded.

In August, an explosion at the Arc de Triomphe injured 17 people and further bombs in Paris and Lyon wounded 18.

A further 13 people were hurt when a bomb was detonated at the Maison Blanche stop on the Paris Metro and a blast in Orsay wounded 29.

The Home Office later confirmed that Ramda's solicitors intend to seek a judicial review of the decision to proceed with his extradition.

It means the suspect will not be handed over to France until that challenge is ruled on
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 9, 2005
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