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12 January 2003

On 30 December 2002, the dramatic headlines in the British press were about the uncovering, in the nick of time, of a terrorist plot at Charles De Gaulle airport. An Algerian baggage handler, Abderazak Bessighir, arrested on 28 December, had been charged with 'associating with terrorists and illegal possession of guns and explosives'. The media reported the discovery of a 'mini-arsenal of weapons' in his car - Bessighir even had explosives primed ready for use!

The story has now taken a different turn:an airport security guard and former Foreign Legion soldier of the 8th Parachure Regiment, Marcel Le Hir, who first alerted the police of an 'an Algerian looking man fiddling with a gun' in the airport car park, has confessed that this was a set up, allegedly instigated by Bessighir's estranged in-laws. Interestingly, Le Hir, had conspired with another former soldier, Patrick Pouchoulin in this plot. Bessighir, who spent 10 days in detention, expressed relief that his name had been cleared. He had always claimed innocence, but this was not taken seriously. His solictor Philippe Dehapiot said that Bessigher had been a victim "d'une diabolisation" .,5987,3226--305113-,00.html

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