Brazil deports Franco-Algerian nuclear physicist

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The Justice Ministry says Brazil has deported a Franco-Algerian nuclear physicist who was once convicted of association with terror plotters.

The ministry's press office says Adlene Hicheur was deported to France Friday night.

A French court sentenced Hicheur to five years in prison in 2012 for "criminal association" with al-Qaida's north African wing. He denied guilt, was released in 2013 and moved to Brazil.

Hicheur has been working at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The university said on its website that the deportation was unjustified and ignored democratic principles such as the right to defense.

In a statement, the ministry said the decision had been taken in the "national interest." No details were provided.