Jail sentences for Algerian intelligence chiefs confirmed


A military appeals court in Algeria confirmed 15-year jail sentences for two former intelligence chiefs and a brother of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for “conspiring against the army and the state authority,” state media reported.

Mohamed Mediene and Athmane Tartag, along with Said Bouteflika, have been in detention since May, weeks after mass protests broke out demanding the departure of the ruling elite and prosecution of people involved in corruption.

The appeals court in Blid handed a nine-month jail sentence to Louisa Hannoune, leader of the Workers Party, who was given 15 years in prison in a first instance sentence in September, along with Mediene, Tartag and Bouteflika.

Mediene, known as “Toufik”, held the role of kingmaker for more than two decades, with power to name presidents, prime ministers, ministers and senior officials.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika ruled for 20 years until he was ousted in April after protesters rejected his plan to seek a new five-year term in office. Said ran government unofficially after his brother suffered a stroke in 2013.

Algeria jailed two prime ministers, several ministers and prominent businessmen over corruption charges since demonstrations started on February 22.

Algerians still stage weekly protests but numbers have dropped significantly since the North African country elected Abdelmadjid Tebboune in a presidential vote largely rejected by demonstrators.