Algeria Doctor Gets 12 Years Jail For Trafficking Babies

Algeria doctor gets 12 years jail  for trafficking babies May 28, 2013 11:29  AM

Agence France Presse
In this photo, Algerian soldiers secure the airport in Ain Amenas, Algeria, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Mohamed Kadri)
In  this photo, Algerian soldiers secure the airport in Ain Amenas, Algeria,  Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Mohamed Kadri)
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ALGIERS: An Algiers  criminal court has sentenced to 12 years  in jail a doctor accused of kidnapping Algerian children born to single mothers  and selling them for adoption in France.

Khelifa Hanouti, accused of illegally shipping the children abroad with the  help of a notary, must also pay a fine of a million dinars (10,000 euros), the  court ruled late on Monday.

Six French suspects of Algerian origin living in the French city of Saint-Etienne  were sentenced in absentia to 10  years in prison plus a fine of 20,000 euros each.

A notary accused of writing “disclaimer documents” signed by single mothers  was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of 10,000 euros.

Four defendants were sentenced to three years suspended while another was  acquitted.

The prosecution had requested a 20-year jail sentence and a fine of five  million dinars (50,000 euros) for the main suspect Hanouti.

It had also demanded 10-year sentences for each of the remaining 12 suspects  in the case, in which nine children of single mothers were allegedly kidnapped  and sent to Saint-Etienne.

Seven of the accused appeared in court on Monday but none of the six French  suspects of Algerian origin were present.

The case came to light in 2009 and according to the indictment it concerns  nine children born to single mothers, sent to Saint-Etienne, where they were  adopted for a fee.

The case first came to light when a young woman died in 2009 during an  abortion at a clinic in the Algiers suburb of Ain Taya  run by Hanouti, and an investigation was  launched.

The lawyer said his client had initially been prosecuted for performing  illegal abortions but this charge was finally dropped.

Hanouti had been convicted on the same charge in 2002, and handed a two-year  jail sentence, of which he served nine months before being released.

Abortion is a crime in Algeria  and women patients risk two years in  prison, while doctors can be jailed for up to five.

One of the other suspects, Boualem Ibari, who lives in Saint-Etienne,  “adopted two boys from the Ain Taya nursery, according to Algerian procedures,”  the lawyer said.

“He was even authorised by the court of Rouiba (near Ain Taya) to change  their names and take them out of Algeria on his passport,” he added.

Hamid Touliba, another lawyer for Hanouti, said “all the adoptions in this  case took place according to the law, with authentic documents, and none of the  biological mothers filing a complaint.”

The charges of those on trial include criminal conspiracy, transporting  children with premeditation, forgery and  impersonation.

Read more: (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

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