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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Masood murder plotters convicted
Ahmed Shah Masood
Ahmed Shah Masood was followed and respected by thousands
A court in Paris has found four men guilty of offering logistical support to the killers of Afghan resistance leader Ahmed Shah Masood.

The four Islamic militants, who faced up to 10 years in jail, were sentenced to between two and seven years.

Another man was convicted of separate offences, while two were acquitted.

Mr Masood, a leading anti-Taleban fighter, was blown up in 2001, two days before the 9/11 terror attacks, by two Tunisian men posing as journalists.

Those convicted, all of north African origin, were seized by French police who traced passports found on Mr Masood's killers to a Brussels-based militant cell run by Tarek Maaroufi.

Maaroufi was sentenced to six years in prison by a court in Brussels in 2003.

Money changer

Mr Masood was a leading general in Afghanistan's anti-Taleban Northern Alliance.

The death of the man revered as the "Lion of the Panjshir Valley" stunned the country's then rebel forces, who were soon called to fight alongside US troops in a campaign against the Taleban in late 2001.

In Paris on Tuesday Adel Tebourski, 41, was handed a six-year sentence after admitting he was a member of an Islamist cell linked to one of the Tunisian killers.

He was accused of changing 30,000 French francs (4,500 euros) into almost $6,000 for Dahmane Abd al-Sattar before he set out on his suicide mission in May 2000.

Frenchman Yousef el-Aouni, 31, received a two-year sentence, while Abderahmane Ameroud, a 27-year-old Algerian, was handed the longest sentence, of seven years.

Another man, 37-year-old Mehrez Azouz, was imprisoned for five years.

A fifth suspect, Khellaf Hammam, 37, was convicted of helping organise paramilitary training for French-based Islamic militants, and was imprisoned for two years.

Two others, Ibrahim Ketta, 38, and Azdine Sayeh, 32, were acquitted.


SEE ALSO:
Legacy of Afghan 'lion' lives on
08 Sep 04 |  South Asia
Thousands honour slain Afghan hero
09 Sep 02 |  South Asia
In pictures: Masood commemorated
09 Sep 02 |  South Asia


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