1995 attacks: Boualem Bensaïd fixed Thursday on his request for release

The Paris Court of Appeal will rule on Thursday March 30 on the request for a reduced sentence for Boualem Bensaïd, one of the perpetrators of the deadly Islamist attack on the RER Saint-Michel in 1995, who could be deported to Algeria in case of release.

Now 54, Boualem Bensaïd was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 22-year security sentence in October 2002, a sentence confirmed on appeal in November 2003. The Algerian is considered to be the coordinator of the wave of six attacks that hit France in 1995, claimed by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which blamed France for its “supportto the Algiers regime.

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Detained for 26 years

He was found guilty of planting the bombs that exploded in the RER B at Place Saint-Michel (July 25, 1995, 8 dead, 150 injured) and near the Maison-Blanche metro station (October 6, 18 injured), as well as to have participated in the preparation of the attack of the RER C at the Musée d’Orsay (October 17, 30 injured). During the hearing, he disputed everything, both his participation in the attacks and his membership in the GIA. Incarcerated since November 1995, he has been detained for twenty-six years.

If the sentence enforcement chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal accepts his conditional release, he could then be expelled to Algeria, as he is subject to a permanent ban from the territory pronounced on September 15, 1999, still in effect. “This measure will be implemented if the judicial authority decides for a release“, indicated the ministry of the Interior to the AFP.

Boualem Bensaïd has served his sentence and only aspires to find his family and Algeria“, told AFP his lawyer, Bérenger Tourné. The application of his expulsion, however, remains hypothetical because, since the start of the pandemic, expulsions to Algeria have been at a standstill and have sparked a skirmish between Algiers and Paris. In retaliation, France drastically reduced, at the end of 2021, the number of visas granted to Algerian nationals.

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