Mami arrested in Paris
PARIS- The French-Algerian singer Cheb Mami, who must respond before the French court of an attempted forced abortion on his former companion, was arrested Monday when he arrived in Orly airport, south of Paris, according to a judicial source.
- Two years after his flight in Algeria, Cheb Mami, 42, “Mohamed Khelifati” in civil status, was under an arrest warrant and his presence at trial had been regarded as uncertain.
Cheb Mami, Raï star, is to appear Thursday for “complicity in violence” aggravated after an attempted abortion suffered in 2005 in Algiers by his ex-partner. She finally gave birth to a girl now aged 3.
The singer faces 10 years in prison and 150,000 Euros fine.
His ex-manager Maurice Levy, under judicial control, should also appear on the same grounds, as well as his man of confidence and Hicham Lazaar and Lallali Abdelkader, who were suspected to be his henchman.
Officials of the Border Police who arrested Cheb Mami acted on the basis of the arrest warrant issued against him in May 2007 by the French court, a judicial source said.
The singer was presented on the evening before a magistrate and maintained in custody, said the same source.
The facts date back to the summer of 2005. Cheb Mami is questioned by a press photographer aged 43, with whom he maintained a relationship. Isabelle S. says she was forcibly taken to a villa in Algiers after she announced her pregnancy to the singer. She says she was drugged and kidnapped and two women and a man tried to practise a curettage.
Back in France, she complained.
According, Cheb Mami, recorded by the victim in November 2005, was present at the facts.
Indicted in October 2006 for “complicity in violence” with aggravating circumstances, Cheb Mami is incarcerated for three months in Paris. Released after paying a bail of 200,000 Euros, he is placed under judicial control, but fled to Algeria in May 2007.
An arrest warrant was issued against him and Interpol asked Algiers to deliver him to Paris.
If he says “regret his attitude,” Cheb Mami considers to be the victim of a plot of his ex-impresario. “The biggest mistake of my life was to have followed the bad advice of my Jewish manager,” he told the Algerian press. He also spoke of a “hard almost orchestrated French media against a famous Arabic name.”
Ennaharonline/ M. O.