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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 14:23 GMT
Paris airport suspect 'set up'
Abderazak Besseghir with his mother and son
Abderazak Besseghir left prison on Friday afternoon
An airport baggage handler who was arrested in Paris when weapons and explosives were found in his car was the victim of a set-up, police said on Friday.

The man, Abderazak Besseghir - a French national of Algerian origin - consistently denied knowing how the arms got into the boot of his car.

This morning, during custody, the soldier who denounced [Mr Besseghir] admitted to having taken part in a plot in liaison with the in-laws

French prosecutor Yves Bot
Two pistols, five cakes of plastic explosive, two detonators and a safety fuse were discovered in his car at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport at the end of December.

But a former Foreign Legion soldier, who said he had seen Mr Besseghir handling the weapons in an airport car park, admitted on Friday that there had been a plot to frame him.

Police have been examining Mr Besseghir's car
Police examined the car thoroughly

It was the result of a long-standing family feud, a BBC correspondent in Paris says.

Police now believe Mr Besseghir's claims that his in-laws tried to frame him because they hold him responsible for the death of his wife in a fire three years ago.

Mr Besseghir was released from prison on Friday afternoon.

The former soldier and an accomplice are now being held in custody.

Mr Besseghir, 27, had no criminal record and the firm that employed him at the airport said he had given them no cause for suspicion in the three years he had worked there.

He had only recently had his security clearance to work in restricted areas of the airport renewed.

Fingerprints found on the weapons did not match Mr Besseghir's - though police became more suspicious after tests apparently revealed traces of explosives on the back seat of his car, and in his locker at the airport.

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  The BBC's Andrew Hosken
"The police failed to find any of Mr Besseghir's prints on the guns"
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