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Algerian court sentences man to death over kidnap and beheading of French tourist, Herve Gourdel

An undisclosed man has been sentenced to death by an Algerian court over the kidnap and murder of a French mountain climber, Hervé Gourdel in 2014.

WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the 55-year-old deceased identified as Herve Gourdel was kidnapped while exploring Djurdjura National Park and later a graphic beheading video emerged of his death.

It was also learnt that the Jund al-Khilafa group, affiliated to the Islamic State, claiming responsibility for his death leading to widespread condemnation.

His captors say they posted a video of his beheading online after France refused to comply with their demand to halt its air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

The French president at the time, François Hollande, condemned the killing as a “cruel and cowardly” act.

According to the report, his body was not found until January 2015, after Algeria mobilised thousands of troops to aid in its recovery.

One suspect, Abdelmalek Hamzaoui, appeared in court on Thursday, February 18, while others were being tried in absentia.

Several of Gourdel’s climbing companions, identified Hamzaoui as being among their kidnappers.Hamzaoui denied taking part in the killing, telling the court he had been accused only to “close the case and please the French”.

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