ALGERIA: AL-QAEDA'S NORTH AFRICA CHIEF SENTENCED TO DEATH IN ABSENTIA
June 28, 2012: an Algerian court sentenced the leader of Al-Qaeda's north African branch and seven other Islamists to death for a series of murders and bombings, though most were tried in absentia.
Abdelmalek Droukdel, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and six of his co-accused remain at large. Droukdel has already been sentenced to death by an Algerian court for a string of 2007 attacks, also in absentia.
Just one of those sentenced to death on 28 June was present in court, Mohamed Toumi, who prosecutors said was arrested in 2007 after a clash between Algerian security forces and armed Islamists in Bouira. Toumi was found guilty of killing five soldiers in 1993, 14 police and eight military police in 1994, and eight more soldiers in 2006. Prosecutors said Toumi told investigators the names of the group's members and admitted they had carried out a series of murders, kidnappings and attacks. (Sources: AFP, 29/06/2012)