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Britain extradites ex-billionaire to Algeria

Updated: 2013-12-25 11:06
( Xinhua)

ALGIERS - Britain on Tuesday extradited Algerian former billionaire Abdelmoumene Rafik Khalifa to his homeland, APS news agency reported citing a statement of the Justice Ministry.

Khalifa is wanted by the Algerian justice on charges of embezzlement, fraud and conspiracy, as he was tried in absentia in 2007 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2009, the wanted billionaire took refuge in Britain after his business collapsed.

He was refused to leave to appeal to the British Supreme Court on December 3, and was due to be extradited within 28 days of that date, media reported, quoting a statement of the British Home Office.

The extradition of Khalifa was proceeded on December 24, as it is " in line with legal procedures and provisions of the relevant judicial agreement between Algeria and the United Kingdom," APS said quoting the statement.

Earlier this month, a source close to the file revealed to Xinhua that the British Home Office notified Algerian authorities that Khalifa suffers mental problems and takes anti-depression drug.

Once in Algeria, the tycoon will undertake a medical control before being put at an individual cell in Serkadji Prison in upper Algiers, where he will be kept under surveillance to prevent him from committing suicide, the source said.

Khalifa used to be the owner of a giant group including an airline, a bank, and TV stations. His business collapsed in 2003, causing billion dollars loss to individual savers and public treasury.

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