Trials And Errors

GERARD CERLES / AFP-GETTY IMAGES

Police misconduct worries Sarkozy and may affect the trial of Colonna

Since France's elite counterterrorism forces uprooted networks of Algeria's extremist Armed Islamic Group (gia) who were responsible for the deadly bombing campaign that rocked Paris in the mid-'90s, they've earned added respect by successfully thwarting a score or more of major plots.

Lately, however, some of the French force's luster has tarnished as allegations of torturing and framing suspects have arisen. Last week, an appeals court acquitted two Corsican nationalists of contracting the 1998 assassination of Claude Erignac, former prefect of Corsica and the state's highest representative on the island. Though upholding their conviction for involvement in...

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