heavy prison sentences confirmed for ex-Bouteflika leaders

In Algeria, two former prime ministers were sentenced on Wednesday by the Algiers appeals court to 15 and 12 years in prison for corruption. They were involved in an auto scandal and illegal financing of ex-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s latest campaign, as did some 20 other former senior officials. But the sentences of some of them have been reduced.

Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, the two former prime ministers of President Bouteflika, saw their sentences of 15 and 12 years in prison confirmed on appeal. But other influential defendants have seen their sentences reduced.

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The sentencing to 10 years in prison in first instance of two former industry ministers was thus reduced by half. That ofAli Haddad, ex-president of the largest employers’ organization in Algeria, went from seven years in prison at first instance to four years on appeal.

In all, they are about twenty former political leaders, powerful bosses and high officials to be judged by the court of appeal since the beginning of the month. They are accused of hidden funding for Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s fifth election campaign in 2019, and patronage and patronage in the auto industry.

All now have eight days to appeal to the Court of Cassation.

Read also : Algeria: “Hirak cannot take the place of power”

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