Algeria rights activist trial delayed to Sept 4

ALGIERS- The trial of Algerian rights activist Abdelkader Kherba on charges of insulting an official during a protest against water cuts has been postponed until September 4, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
Kherba, 32, who has been on hunger strike since his arrest on August 21, appeared in court in "a very weak state," Kouceila Zerguine, who belongs to a network of Algerian human rights lawyers, told AFP by telephone.

"The trial of Abdelkader Kherba has been put back to September 4," Zerguine said, adding that the court had refused to release the accused ahead of his trial.
The defence team wants to present witnesses who were unable to attend Tuesday's court hearing in Ksar el-Boukhari, in the Medea region, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Algiers, where Kherba is being tried.
He faces up to two years in jail and a 10,000 euro ($12,500) fine if convicted.
The human rights activist was arrested in Ksar el-Boukhari, his hometown, as he prepared to film a demonstration by residents against the regular water cuts they endure.
A policeman prevented him from filming and an angry exchange between the two followed, resulting in Kherba's arrest.

Tuesday, August 28th 2012

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