Algeria activist cleared of contempt

2012-09-11 16:34

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Algiers - An Algerian court on Tuesday acquitted rights activist Abdelkader Kherba of charges that he insulted an official during a protest against water cuts, his lawyer Amine Sidhoum said.

The court in the south-western town of Ksar el-Boukari "acquitted Mr Kherba and he should be leaving prison later during the day", Sidhoum told AFP.

"The case was without foundation and any decision other than his release would have been surprising," he added.

Prosecutors had sought a year in prison for Kherba, a member of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights.

The 32-year-old was arrested on August 21 at a demonstration against water cuts in Ksar el-Boukari, his hometown.

He had been preparing to film the demonstration when a policeman forcefully stopped him, and an angry exchange between the two followed, resulting in his arrest.

According to his legal defence team, the charges that he faced on Tuesday "had nothing to do with this event".

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