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Algeria: Trials of Bouteflika’s Regime Officials Unveil Manipulation of Public Money

Algeria: Trials of Bouteflika’s Regime Officials Unveil Manipulation of Public Money

Friday, 6 December, 2019 - 12:00
Members of the Research and Intervention Brigades (BRI) stand guard outside a court during the trial of senior officials including two former prime ministers in Algiers, Algeria December 04, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina
Algiers- Boualam Ghimrasah

Observers in Algeria expected a campaign against presidential candidate Abdelmajid Taboun, whose son was summoned to court on Thursday, after being jailed for two years on corruption charges in connection with a drug baron.

Meanwhile, the trial of officials under former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika continued for a second day, during which the defendants talked about huge amounts of money transferred to businessmen.

Over the past two days, Algerians have followed with great indignation the defendants’ statements regarding the thousands of billions of Algerian funds that were in the hands of businessmen in the form of tax exemptions, facilities, and privileges. They also heard accounts about billions allocated by the same businessmen to finance a new presidential term, which was sought by Bouteflika and his brother. The latter is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence.

The live broadcast of the trials also revealed the role of sons of senior officials in deals and projects that were allocated to businessmen close to them.

This is the first time that senior political officials have been tried since the country’s independence in 1962. Among them are two former Algerian prime ministers, who went on trial Wednesday on corruption charges.

Both are charged with “corruption and the misappropriation of public funds” and both deny any wrongdoing.

The December 12 presidential election is looming over the trial. Algerians are voting for a new president after Bouteflika, who was in office for two decades, was forced out in April.

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