An abortion practitioner in Algeria is headed to prison after being found guilty of child trafficking.
Algerian abortionist Khelifa Hanouti has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for abducting children born to single mothers and selling them in France for adoption. Local reports indicate the case became public when a woman died an abortion clinic he ran.
An Algiers court found Khelifa Hanouti guilty of illegally transferring children to the city of Saint-Etienne.
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.
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Hanouti was arrested in 2009 after Algeria’s security services dismantled the network thought to have been operating since the 1990s.
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.