PARIS (AP) -- Supporters of a jailed nuclear physicist say the terrorism charges he faces should be dropped because he wasn't planning bomb and assassination plots in France when he wrote about such things online.
Defenders of Adlene Hicheur -- an Algerian-born physicist formerly of Switzerland's celebrated CERN lab -- say he did nothing to deserve being held in prison for 2-1/2 years awaiting trial.
Investigating judges say Hicheur communicated online with a suspected member of al-Qaida's North Africa branch about possible targets in France. Police arrested Hicheur in late 2009 as part of a terrorism probe.
Hicheur's backers held a news conference Thursday to claim his innocence and decry flaws of France's tough anti-terrorism legislation.
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