An Algerian court has sentenced a man to death over the kidnap and murder of a French mountain climber, Hervé Gourdel in 2014. Hervé Gourdel, 55, was abducted while exploring Djurdjura National Park and later a graphic beheading video emerged of his death.
\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. 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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