Rai Star Cheb Mami Arrested For Attempted Forced Abortion

07/31/2009 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

Algerian pop star Cheb Mami was arrested in France Monday due to allegations that he attempted to force a woman with whom he had previous relations to undergo an abortion, the BBC reports:

Prosecutors at Thursday's trial in Bobigny will allege that Cheb Rami was one of a group who abducted and beat the woman, a French photographer, in the Algerian capital, Algiers, in 2005.

The woman was allegedly forced to undergo an abortion, but on returning to France she discovered she was still pregnant and later gave birth to a daughter.

Mami has been wanted since he skipped bail and fled back to Algeria, prompting Interpol in January to push for his surrender and return to France, according to AFP. However, Mami said in a statements to the press at he does not trust the French justice system:

Speaking to Algerian and French news outlets in June last year, Cheb Mami said he preferred to be tried in Algeria, having lost what he called "confidence in French justice".

"Today I am in my country," he told the Algerian newspaper Quotidien d'Oran. "I trust the judicial system in my country and I am fully at its disposition if it decides to judge me."

Mami's arrest is the latest installment in a legal saga that has gone on for years, garnering attention because of the singer's fame as the musician who introduced Rai music to the international community.

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