Alleged al-Qaida operative convicted in Tunisia

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- A lawyer says a Tunisian court has convicted an alleged former logistics head of al-Qaida's European operations of belonging to a terror group and given him an 11-year prison sentence.

Defense lawyer Sami Ben Amor says Sami Ben Khemais had denied accusations that he belonged to two little-known terror groups in Afghanistan and Italy. The suspect was extradited from Italy in June.

Ben Amor said Monday he asked the military court to throw the case out by arguing there was a lack of proof the two groups even existed.

Human Rights Watch criticized the extradition, arguing Italy acted before the European Court of Human Rights could review Ben Khemais' claim that he could be mistreated in Tunisian custody.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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