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Subject: Body of Missing Algerian Lawmaker Found

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Date Posted: January 29, 2003 9:16:22 EDT

The body of a missing Algerian lawmaker was discovered Wednesday in the trunk of his car on a busy Paris street, judicial officials said.

Abdelmalek Benbara, a member of the Algerian prime minister's party, had been missing for nearly three weeks. The body was found partly decomposed with the ankles bound, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Police found Benbara's identity papers along with the body in Benbara's parked and unlocked car in western Paris. The body was taken to the Paris morgue, where an autopsy was scheduled Thursday.

Authorities did not immediately have information on suspects.

Benbara, 41, was one of two deputies who represented Algerians living in France, which once ruled the North African nation as a colony.

He was voted into Algeria's National Assembly in May elections that were swept by the National Liberation Front, the party of Benbara and Prime Minister Ali Benflis.

Paris prosecutors opened an abduction investigation Jan. 17 after Benbara was reported missing.

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