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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 16:10 UK

France probes Algerian official

Ali Mecili. File photo
The Mecili case has puzzled investigators for years

The French authorities are formally investigating an Algerian official in connection with the killing of a leading Algerian opposition figure.

Ali Mecili was assassinated at his home in Paris in 1987.

He had been working as a senior aide to Hocine Ait Ahmed, leader of the Algeria's Socialist Forces Front.

The man being investigated is Mohammed Ziane Hassani, now in charge of protocol at Algeria's foreign ministry. He was arrested on Friday.

Mr Hassani was detained at Marseille airport shortly after arriving from Algiers.

French police say that although Mr Hassani was carrying a diplomatic passport, he does not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Another man suspected by the police of firing the fatal shots is also the subject of an international arrest warrant.



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