Algerian linked to terror is extradited

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The Independent Online

An Algerian man linked to a terrorist attack on the Paris Metro has lost his 10-year legal battle to avoid extradition to France.

Rachid Ramda, Britain's longest serving extradition prisoner, was yesterday handed over to the French police to face trial in France.

Mr Ramda, 35, had pinned his last hopes on a hearing in the House of Lords. But yesterday two High Court judges refused permission to bring a further appeal, opening the way for his immediate extradition.

Mr Ramda was first arrested in London in 1995 after the Paris Metro explosion, in which eight people died and 87 were injured, 20 of them seriously.

Supporters of a campaign to block his extradition expressed fears that he would be eventually deported from France to Algeria and claim he could face execution there.

But the long-running case had been frustrating for the French authorities.

Francoise Rudetzki, president of SOS Attentats, which helps terrorist victims, unfavourably contrasted the case with the British request to Italy for the extradition of Hussain Osman, the fifth 21 July London bomb suspect. She said: "What would the British think 10 years from now if he was still in Italy?"