France charges aid worker in Chad 'Darfur orphans' case Deirdre Jurand at 5:47 PM ET
[JURIST] An aid worker was charged in a French court Wednesday with conspiring to allow illegal residents into the country in connection with an aborted airlift of 103 supposed Darfur [JURIST news archive] orphans from Chad to France last year. The indictment comes just two weeks after Alain Peligat and five other workers with French charity Zoe's Ark [advocacy website, in French] were sentenced in Chad to eight years of hard labor [JURIST report] for their role in the attempted airlift. Peligat could face up to 10 years in prison and up to a 750,000 Euro ($1 million) fine if convicted in the French proceeding. The Chadian government returned the workers to France [JURIST report] in late December after a formal request from the French Foreign Ministry under the 1976 France-Chad Agreement on Judicial Matters [PDF text]. A French court will decide Monday how the workers will serve their sentences since France has no hard-labor sanctions. Two of the other aid workers are considered witnesses in the case and have not been charged in French courts, and a judge will consider charging the remaining three on Thursday. AFP has more. Le Monde has local coverage, in French.
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