A Franco-Algerian physicist sentenced to four years in prison for terrorism

Adlène Hicheur was sentenced to four years in prison for having mentioned in e-mail exchanges of planned attacks on French soil.

The Paris court has sentenced Friday, May 4, Adlène Hicheur, a French-Algerian physicist detached at CERN in Geneva, to five years in prison with one year suspended for terrorism after exchanging mails ambiguous, some reports of possible attacks with a suspected leader of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The case was tried in an atmosphere of tension related to the seven murders committed in March in Toulouse and Montauban by Mohamed Merah. The prosecution had asked for a sentence of six years in prison but the defense argued for the release Adlène Hicheur, 35, has never physically met his Islamic interlocutor, not corresponding with him by computer. He is a victim of a crime of opinion and should appeal.

Read our framing "Adlène Hicheur or trial of the jihadist temptation"


"I do not dispute the fact that I went through a phase of turmoil, I made amends, I can not say anything more," was defended at the end of March the doctor Particle Physics 35 , with the "tangent" messages on behalf of his "physical and psychological health" of the time, when he was sick leave for a herniated disc. At his trial, on March 29 and 30, the accused had pinned repeatedly of "dishonest" policing and "inaccuracies" of the investigation by the anti-terrorist judges.

On 8 October 2009, Adlène Hicheur was arrested in Vienna with her parents, indicted and imprisoned for "criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise". The heart of the charge based on 35 emails between the researcher and some Moustapha Debchi, assumed responsibility AQIM. The defense challenges the identity of the mysterious caller that is based on the essential loads.

"PUR military target"

In March 2009, Adlène Hicheur wrote to Debchi be ready to propose targets "in Europe and particularly in France." Ten days later, he was further and had raised "a pure military objective" airbase Cran-Gévrier, which trains soldiers from Afghanistan. At the hearing on March 30, the accused had minimized the message. "There has never been a heart on anything," had he won. The basis of Cran-Gévrier, "it's been mentioned once, in a specific context, in conjunction with a hot news, but aimlessly. Moreover, it appeared once and it's never appeared. " During his closing arguments, the prosecution had countered that the defendant was not "a martyr of the anti-terrorism" but rather "technical advisor attacks".

Attorney William Portenseigne urged the court to "get rid of prejudices: a brilliant man does not fall into the arms of terrorism." For has he continued, "the story of Adlène Hicheur merges with that of religious obscurantism." Thus, "it is proud that Moustapha Debchi, terrorist AQIM, offered him a suicide" in one of his emails. "The intelligence and measurement are not necessarily two sides of the same coin." "The potentiality of exchanges," yet warned the prosecutor is not "synonymous with criminal irresponsibility", as evidenced by the conviction of child pornographers. "We are accountable for our words and our actions, even if they were sent by electronic communication."

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