SLUG: 2-300509 Germany Trial (S)
TITLE=GERMANY / TRIAL (S)
INTRO: A court in Frankfurt, Germany, has convicted four Algerians of planning a bomb attack on a Christmas market in France in December 2000, and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from 10 to 12 years. V-O-A's Roger Wilkison reports, the plot was foiled by police shortly before it was to take place.
TEXT: Three of the four defendants admitted training at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan, but prosecutors were unable to establish solid links between the men and the terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden.
The judge, in handing down his sentence, said the four plotters engaged in a conspiracy to murder because they wanted to punish France for its support of the Algerian government.
Prosecutors presented as evidence of the plot a videotape made by two of the men showing the square in the French city of Strasbourg where an annual Christmas market is held and the cathedral is located. On the tape, one of the men is heard saying these are the enemies of God.
When the men were arrested, police also found detonators and chemicals that could be used to make explosives in their Frankfurt apartments.
During the trial, which started last April, three of the four defendants admitted planning a bomb attack in Strasbourg but two of them said their target was a synagogue, not the Christmas market. (Signed)
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