Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Algeria court confirms jail sentences for ex-Prime Ministers in corruption appeal


An Algerian appeals court has upheld sentences of over ten years in prison for two former prime ministers under ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika following an unprecedented corruption trial, a judicial source said Wednesday.

The Algiers court sentenced Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal to 15 and 12 years jail time respectively, confirming a ruling by a lower court on December 10 last year.

The two premiers had served under president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced to resign in April last year by enormous street protests against his bid for a fifth term in office.

They were the first former prime ministers to be put on trial since Algeria’s independence from France in 1962.

- Advertisement -

“This verdict on appeal is still a political ruling,” said Sellal’s lawyer Mourad Khader.

They now have eight days to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Scandals within Algeria’s auto industry – including murky funding for Bouteflika’s aborted re-election bid – were at the heart of the case, which also resulted in prison terms for other former ministers and businessmen close to the ex-president’s regime.

Financing for the longtime leader’s campaign had “cost the treasury an estimated 110 billion dinars (R6,04 trillion)”, the prosecutor said.

- Advertisement -

The auto industry scandal led to the loss of an estimated 128 billion dinars of public funds, according to official figures.

Other rulings handed down by the appeal court reduced sentences for former Algerian ministers and businessmen also standing trial.

Two former industry ministers, Mahdjoub Bedda and Youcef Yousfi, initially sentenced to ten years in prison, had their jail terms halved.

Businessman Ali Haddad, founder and CEO of private construction firm ETRHB and former head of Algeria’s main employers’ organisation who was considered a principal funder of Bouteflika’s last electoral campaign, had his seven-year prison sentence reduced to four.

But for his lawyer, Khaled Bourayou, it was still an “unjustifiable verdict”.

“As long as justice is instrumentalised, we can’t expect anything else,” he said of the ruling, adding that the plaintiffs will appeal to the supreme court.

Two owners of vehicle assembly plants, Hassen Arbaoui and Mohamed Bairi, received sentences of four and three years in prison respectively.

Since March 1, around twenty former politicians, powerful businessmen and senior officials have been judged on appeal in corruption cases.

Other trials await some defendants named in the wide-ranging investigations into alleged corruption that were launched after Bouteflika’s departure.

Huge protests against cronyism have continued in Algeria despite Bouteflika’s resignation and the election of a new president in December, with activists demanding a complete overhaul of the political system and removal of Bouteflika-era figures.

While some have welcomed the trials of figures in his entourage, including his powerful brother Said and two former intelligence chiefs, many fear that they amount to little more than a power struggle between regime “clans”.


Beam Suntory Inc. fined $19.6 million in foreign bribery case

Beam Suntory Inc. (Beam), a Chicago-based company that produces and sells distilled beverages, has agreed to pay a criminal monetary penalty of $19,572,885 to...

Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World


Latest News

This Week

Former Harris County deputy constable pleads guilty to transporting drug money and heroin

A former Harris County deputy constable and her husband pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, according...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Mozambique seeks prosecution of ex-Credit Suisse bankers implicated in debt scandal

Mozambique's Attorney General's Office said on Wednesday it will seek the extradition of three former Credit Suisse CSGN.S bankers implicated in a $2 billion debt scandal...

Texas AG Ken Paxton fires second whistleblower who accused him of bribery

A second whistleblower has been fired from the Texas attorney general’s office after reporting his boss, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, to law enforcement for...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks