Algeria prosecutors seek 7 years jail for Bouteflika brother

AFP , Monday 11 Oct 2021

Algerian prosecutors have sought a seven-year jail term for Said Bouteflika, the brother of late president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, on corruption charges, one of his lawyers said Monday.

Demonstration in Algeria
File Photo: Demonstration in Algeria, Algiers, Algeria March 8, 2021. Reuters

President Bouteflika was forced to resign in the face of mass protests against his bid for a fifth term in office in 2019, and died in September aged 84.

His departure was followed by a string of prosecutions against senior members of his inner circle, most prominently his brother Said who had been seen as the real power behind the scenes after the longtime ruler suffered a stroke in 2013.

Said Bouteflika's defence lawyer Salim Hadjouti told AFP that "there is nothing in the case file. It's empty, a political file, not a legal one."

He said the prosecution had also sought at least 10 years behind bars for ex-justice minister Tayeb Louh and seven for tycoon Ali Haddad, both close to the former president, as well as jail terms for other defendants.

Said Bouteflika, 63, was arrested in May 2019 and imprisoned for 15 years for "plotting against the state and the army" during the final days of his brother's rule.

On January 2 he was acquitted of those charges by a military appeals court, but was handed to a civil court to face trial on accusations of graft.

On Sunday, another trial began at Dar El Beida in eastern Algiers, in which he and several co-defendants face charges of "inciting the falsification of official documents", "abuse of office", "obstruction of justice" and "contempt of court", according to the official APS news agency.

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