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Algerian ex-PM Sellal in custody over graft allegation

Algerian ex-PM Sellal in custody over graft allegation

2019/06/13 | 18:05

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Algeria’s supreme court on Thursday remanded former Prime Minister

Abdelmalek Sellal in custody over allegations of corruption, state television

reported.Sellal is one of the closest associates of former President

Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be detained since protests broke out in February,

demanding the prosecution of people the protesters regarded as corrupt.Sellal, who served as prime minister and Bouteflika’s

campaign managers several times, is under investigation over “dissipation of

public funds”.His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.On Wednesday, the same court had ordered the detention of

another former prime minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, for alleged involvement in

corruption, including “awarding illegal privileges and dissipation of public

funds”.A judge at the supreme court confiscated the passport of

former Transport and Public Works Minister Abdelghani Zaalane and ordered him

to show up at the court once a month, state TV reported on Thursday, after

saying on Wednesday he was detained.Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 under pressure from the

army, which is now the main decision-maker. Its chief of staff, Ahmed Gaed

Salah, has urged the courts to speed up prosecution of people suspected of

involvement in corruption.Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former

intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge for

“harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority”.Several prominent businessmen, some of them close to

Bouteflika, have been detained pending trial.Protesters are now seeking the departure of interim

President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, both seen

as part of the elite that has ruled the North African country since

independence from France in 1962.Authorities have postponed a presidential election

previously planned for July 4, citing a lack of candidates. No new date has

been set for the vote.











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