July 3, 2009

Also, a Cheb Mami update

Well, he was brought to trial Thursday. Well, making my job easier today, a French court has jailed the Prince of Rai:

Rai star jailed for abortion bid

A French court has jailed the Algerian singer Cheb Mami for five years for abducting a former partner and forcing her to undergo an attempted abortion.

Cheb Mami, whose real name is Mohammed Khalifati, was found guilty at a trial in Bobigny, a Parisian suburb.

He had denied the charges, telling the court that he had been "manipulated" by his entourage.

The singer is credited with bringing Algeria's popular Rai folk music to an international audience.

The maximum sentence was 10 years and the prosecution had asked for seven.

Prosecutors had said that Cheb Mami was one of a group who abducted and beat the woman, a French photographer, in the Algerian capital, Algiers, in 2005.

Well that was pretty short & sweet. I'm disappointed with the sentence I must say but I'm not really familiar with the laws at work here (that is, for the country) but my personal feelings say five, seven, even ten years is pretty garbage. Also we finally get to hear why the singer would try to force a goddamn abortion, and it's everything we expect:

The star showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

But during the trial he had expressed remorse and asked for the woman's forgiveness.

He broke down in tears and admitted making a "serious mistake" but said he did not love the woman and felt "trapped" when she told him she was pregnant.

Cheb Mami blamed his former manager Michel Lecorre - also known as Michel Levy - saying he was behind the plot.

"I was in a panic and I agreed," he said. "I did nothing to stop him."

Michel Lecorre was sentenced to four years for plotting and organising the assault.

Yep, you found out she was pregnant and freaked out--as it happens, so did your manager! I don't feel like there's a lot that needs to be said about how fucked up that is. I mean, I already did kinda, and I hate repeating myself so yeah, if you thought a baby was going to fuck up your lifestyle you should have thought about that shit. You DO NOT get to force your ex to have a fucking risky abortion.

In any case, I am a little disappointed that we didn't get to hear more from the woman in question but I understand, I think I'm most pissed at the sentencing thought. Five & four years is garbage. I'm really not that law-minded so for me trying to assign jail years is like playing Go Fish--five is paltry thought. I felt the same way about the whole Chris Brown spectacle. I feel like ten-fifteen would have been sufficient but again I don't know how this French court works.

I'm also bemused/amused at Cheb's reasoning for his actions. At first it wasn't his fault & he was being crucified because he's a successful Arab star--and you know what, in some cases I think I could hang with that defense. That didn't really work here since I'm pretty sure someone wanted to punish you for being a successful Arab they could have done worse than sentence you for 10 years for this...bizarreness.

And then, it was his manager. And I guess there was sufficient evidence to say that it WAS his manager's plot. But then as Mami acknowledges, he was so freaked out that this was a pretty good idea and he went along with it. So yeah, trying to pass it off on your manager isn't working either.

Pretty much everything surrounding this is shameful really. It's a great thing that the woman is okay and presumably the child is healthy--I wonder though if she'll ever tell him the horrifying circumstances surrounding his birth & his real father...fucking sad.

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