Algeria confirms death, prison sentences for accused spies for Israel
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Algeria confirms death, prison sentences for accused spies for Israel

Liberian national of Lebanese origin to be executed, 6 others Africans will face 10 years behind bars

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative. Handcuffs in a courthouse. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Illustrative. Handcuffs in a courthouse. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

An Algerian court confirmed Monday a death sentence for the leader of alleged spy ring carrying out espionage for Israel, and upheld prison terms of 10 years for six other suspects in the case.

The criminal court in the southern Algerian city of Gherdaia was ruling on sentences originally given on January 14, the Observ Algerie reported Tuesday.

A Liberian national of Lebanese origin, accused of being the spy group leader, was sentenced to death. Six other African nationals were given 10 years in prison and fined 20 million Algerian dinars ($175,000) each.

They had been convicted of espionage against the state, undermining national security and membership in a criminal gang.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty and said they had only entered Algeria in an effort to try and reach Europe.

Algerian authorities first announced they had busted the alleged spy cell in January 2017.

According to Arab media reports at the time, the spy network included 10 people and was uncovered in Ghardaia. Among members of the network were people with passports from Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya.

Algerian security forces claimed to have uncovered sophisticated communications systems used by the spies to transfer information.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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