Belfast Telegraph

Algerian rape suspect loses his bid to avoid extradition

By Alan Erwin

An alleged rapist who claimed he would rather commit suicide than be returned to Germany has lost his legal bid to remain in Northern Ireland.

High Court judges rejected Hamitt El Massoud's appeal against an order for his extradition to face criminal proceedings.

Despite an apparent attempt to take his own life after the earlier ruling, Lord Justice Girvan said the German prison system is bound to take steps to ensure his future protection.

El Massoud, a 34-year-old Algerian national, was detained after arriving in Belfast in November 2011. He had travelled through France and Germany before entering the UK illegally.

German authorities had issued a European Arrest Warrant against him over an allegation of rape earlier that year. Described as intellectually disadvantaged and semi-literate, El Massoud claimed his parents and 11-year-old sister were murdered by terrorists in Algeria.

He said he suffered mental illness following their killings and travelled about Europe as a casual labourer.

According to his account he had consensual sex with a Moroccan woman he was drinking with in Germany. He claimed she made the rape allegations because he did not want to marry her.

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