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Algeria issues death sentence to suspect for French tourist beheading

A man makes the victory sign behind a picture of Herve Gourdel, the hiker beheaded by Algerian militants linked to the Islamic State group during a demonstration in support of Kurdish forces fighting against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria on October 2, 2014 in Marseille, southern France. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS (Photo credit should read BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A man makes the victory sign behind a picture of Herve Gourdel, the hiker beheaded by Algerian militants linked to the Islamic State group in Marseille, southern France [BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP via Getty Images]

An Algerian court has sentenced to death Abdel-Malek Hamzawy, the main defendant in the murder of French mountain guide Herve Gourdel who was beheaded by extremists in Algeria in 2014.

The trial was attended by the victim's widow and members of his family.

As per the indictment, 14 people are being prosecuted in this case; eight of them are suspected of participating in the kidnapping and beheading of the victim, while six are suspected of "not reporting the crime".

The defendant Hamzawy arrived in an ambulance and witnessed the trial in a wheelchair, accompanied by a medical team and members of the Gendarmerie's Special Forces to supervise him.

It is reported that Gourdel was kidnapped in the Jarjara reserve on 21 September, 2014, a day after his arrival into the country. A videotape was published three days later showing his beheading in an incident that shocked France and Algeria.

The Jund Al-Khilafah group had threatened to execute Gourdel after abducting him if France did not stop its airstrikes against Daesh.

READ: Daesh kills 3 pro-government fighters in Iraq's Diyala province

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