Algeria Sentences Said Bouteflika to 15 Years in Prison

Rabat – An Algerian military court sentenced, on Tuesday, September 24, Said Bouteflika, brother of the former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to 15 years in prison. Bouteflika faced charges of “attacking the authority of the army” and “conspiracy against the authority of the state.”After two days of hearings, Blida’s public prosecution office requested a 20-year prison sentence for the defendant. Said Bouteflika has been seen as the power behind the Bouteflika regime, following his brother’s stroke in 2013. Algeria also sentenced two former secret service chiefs and a political party head on similar charges.In a series of protests, which started on February 22, Algerians have been denouncing the widespread corruption amongst the country’s political elite. The protesters are calling for accountability and for an end to the impunity enjoyed by elites.The Algerian protesters demanded radical change for the whole “corrupt system,” including the dismissal of every official from Bouteflika’s era. The former president was in power from 1999 to 2019.Several other senior government officials have been placed in custody, including Algeria’s two former prime ministers, Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal.Read also: Algerian Army Orders Police to Bar Protesters from CapitalDespite threats to arrest protesters, Algeria flocked to the capital for another wave of protests on Friday, September 20Last week, Algerian army chief Gaid Salah ordered the police to arrest protesters entering Algeria.“I have instructed the national gendarmerie to deal with these actions with firmness,” said General Ahmed Gaid Salah.Salah said that orders had been issued to stop “vehicles and coaches used” to bring protestors to Algiers by seizing them and “fining their owners.”The chief, regarded as Algeria’s de facto leader after the resignation of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, is also insisting on the importance of an election before the end of this year.Interim president Abdelkader Bensalah has announced that the election will take place on December 12.

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