Brother of Algerian ex-leader given 12-year graft sentence

Feb 9, 2023, 6:17 PM | Updated: Feb 10, 2023, 9:32 am

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Algerian court has imposed a 12-year prison sentence on the younger brother of the country’s late President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, after convicting him of corruption under his brother’s 20-year rule.

Once seen as one of Algeria’s most powerful men, Said Bouteflika was an unofficial counsellor to the president — who died in 2021, about two years after a pro-democracy movement forced him from office.

The Algiers court late Wednesday also fined Said Bouteflika, 65, more than $500,000. In addition to the ex-leader’s brother, the court convicted of corruption and imposed prison sentences on the former chief of the Algerian employers’ association and three business magnates, among others.

Said Bouteflika was accused of being at the center of a system that bred new wealth for politicians and industrialists in the gas-rich North African country.

After his brother, the president, was removed from office under pressure from the pro-democracy Hirak movement and the army, a series of arrests was put in motion under an anti-corruption drive. Among those currently detained are three former prime ministers, several former ministers, lawmakers and businessmen, all suspected of corruption. Others fled the country.

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