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Terror suspect loses legal battle.

Terrorist suspect Rachid Ramda has lost a ten-year battle against being extradited to France where he is wanted in connection with a bombing on the Paris Metro.

The 35-year-old Algerian is Britain's longest-serving extradition prisoner and, amid French anger, has launched a decade-long series of legal cases.

Yesterday Home Secretary Charles Clarke welcomed a High Court ruling backing his decision in April that Ramda must be sent to face trial for allegedly helping to finance an attack on the Saint Michel metro station in 1995, in which eight people died and 87 were injured, 20 of them seriously.

Lord Justice Keene and Mr Justice Poole, sitting in London, ruled there was no evidence to support Ramda's fears that he would not receive a fair trial or that his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights would not be respected by the French authorities.

They also rejected his fears that he could face ill-treatment in police custody and be sent back to Algeria, where he feared being sentenced to death.

The judges recognised the alarm caused by the long delays in the case being dealt with when they said that the "cumbersome and time-consuming" old extradition system which had processed Ramda's case had been replaced with a more streamlined version.

Ramda has just one chance to avoid extradition, involving petitioning the House of Lords for a final decision.

But first his lawyers must convince the judges who gave the judgment that the case should be certified as raising issues of law of general public importance.

Ramda is alleged to be a member of the GIA (Groupe Islamique Arme), the Algerian militant organisation which has sought to overthrow Algeria's government and install an Islamic state
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 18, 2005
Previous Article:Bid to travel around the world on human power.
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