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General Testifies About Atrocities in Algeria

November 27, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An 83-year-old retired French army general went on trial, accused of condoning torture and executions during Algeria's war of independence in the 1950s and '60s.

Paul Aussaresses, whose tell-all memoir of one of the most somber chapters of French colonial history sparked a furor when published last spring, faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted.

Aussaresses, who was stripped of national honors by French President Jacques Chirac after publication of the book, told the court of the atrocities he recounted and said he had kept a record of them in a diary. He is being tried for condoning war crimes rather than perpetrating them, because Algeria veterans are covered by a 1968 amnesty.

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