Algeria doctor jailed for child-trafficking to France

Map of Algiers, Saint-Etienne

An Algerian doctor has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for abducting children born to single mothers and selling them in France for adoption.

An Algiers court found Khelifa Hanouti guilty of illegally transferring children to the city of Saint-Etienne.

A notary received five years for his involvement. Another six people were jailed in absentia to 10 years.

The case came to light in 2009 after a woman died during an abortion at an illegal clinic belonging to Hanouti.

In total, 13 people had gone on trial for allegedly belonging to a child trafficking ring composed of both French and Algerian nationals.

In Tuesday's ruling, one defendant was acquitted, while the remaining four were given suspended jail sentences. All those sentenced also received fines.

The six jailed in absentia are French suspects of Algerian origin currently living in Saint-Etienne.

Falsified documents

Hanouti was arrested in 2009 after Algeria's security services dismantled the network thought to have been operating since the 1990s.

He was accused of impersonating an obstetrician and running an abortion clinic in the Algiers suburb of Ain Taya.

Abortion is illegal in Algeria.

Prosecutors argued that the doctor illegally transported children abroad with the help of the notary, who falsified "disclaimer" documents signed by single mothers.

The investigation has so far been unable to determine the exact number of children involved.

The security services reportedly discovered 12 "adoption certificates" at a nursery in the Algiers suburb of El-Biar written between 2005 and 2006, with nine children sent abroad for a sum of money.

Hanouti had already been prosecuted in 2002 for performing illegal abortions and served nine months of a two-year jail term.

More on This Story

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

  • Member of staff at The National Archives in KewFree information?

    The reaction when 13 departments were sent the same FOI request


  • Andy Murray in action in the Australian Open semi finalTeam tennis

    Why it pays for players like Murray to have an entourage


  • Dippy on display in the Hintze Hall. Photo by Nathalie DiazFarewell to Dippy

    Your stories of the most famous dinosaur in Kensington


  • Motorists make their way over Hannahstown Hill on January 29, 2015 in Belfast, In pictures

    Wintry images of UK's most widespread snow so far this year


  • Composite picture of David Cameron and Nick Clegg on separate official visitsMarginal choices?

    New funds for your town - but is visiting minister after your vote?


Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.