ALGERIA: FIVE JIHADISTS SENTENCED TO DEATH
April 23, 2013: Jihadist leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar and four members of his group were condemned to death in absentia by an Algerian court.
Mohamed Lamine Bencheneb, leader of the Islamist hostage-takers who was killed by Algerian troops during a four-day siege at the In Amenas gas plant in January, was given the death sentence posthumously. Thirty-seven foreign hostages died during the siege and rescue operation by the Algerian army, while 29 of the Islamist assailants were killed and three captured. The accused were charged with "creating and belonging to a terrorist group intending to harm the security of the state, and for possession of explosives and the transfer of ammunition and weapons of war."
The charge sheet said the accused were in contact with Bencheneb, whose Sahara Movement for Islamic Justice was supplied by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) with "arms and explosives for carrying out attacks against oil companies and pipelines." (Sources: Agence France-Presse, 23/04/2013)