Rachid Ramda sentenced

A French court convicted Rachid Ramda on Wednesday 29 March of acting as banker for the terrorists reponsible for the 1995 Paris Metro bombings. He was given a 10-year sentence - the maximum possible. His lawyer says said he will appeal against the ruling.

The charges related only to the preparation of the attacks, which were blamed on the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA). Rachid Ramda faces a second trial for his alleged role in the actual bombings.

At the start of the trial last month, Rachid Ramda proclaimed his innocence and expressed sympathy for victims of the attacks. The trial was cut short after only four sessions because Ramda told his lawyers not to defend him, describing the proceedings as "scandalous", and refusing to leave his prison cell.

Rachid Ramda was originally arrested in Britain in November 1995 on a French warrant. He resisted extradition for 10 years on the grounds that he would not recieve a fair trial in France. Key evidence against him is said to have been obtained through torture. He was finally handed over to the French authorities in December.

The trial of Mustapha Labsi - another Algerian man recently extradited from Britain - started today