Rai singer Cheb Mami jailed over forced abortion
A French court on Friday sentenced Algerian-born music star Cheb Mami to five years in jail for attempting to have his ex-girlfriend undergo a forced abortion.
The 42-year-old singer, whose real name is Mohamed Khelifati, returned to France this week to face trial for the 2005 assault against his former lover, after spending two years on the run in Algeria.
Mami, who is known as the "Prince of Rai," on Thursday expressed remorse and pleaded for the woman's forgiveness at his trial in Bobigny, outside Paris.
"I regret everything that happened. I am asking for her forgiveness," said Mami, who produced several chart-topping records in France in the 1990s but reached international stardom in 2001 for "Desert Rose," a hit duet with British singer Sting.
Mami arrived in Paris on Monday to face arrest and charges of causing bodily harm, sequestration and issuing threats against the woman, a 43-year-old press photographer.
The woman, whose name has been withheld, alleges that in the summer of 2005 she was sequestered and drugged in an Algiers house belonging to a friend of the singer after revealing that she was pregnant.
Two women and a man then tried to carry out an abortion on her.
Returning to France, the woman learned that her pregnancy had not been terminated and went on to have the child -- a girl -- now three years old.