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Monday, February 6, 2023

Algeria: Legal proceedings against several former senior Officials

The general prosecutor’s office of the Court of Algiers announced in a press release, made public Thursday, that new charges are pending against six ex-ministers and several former walis.

Following the orders of incompetence made by the court of Sidi M’hamed which is not empowered to hear cases in which senior officials are cited, the Supreme Court will, therefore, have to convene, in the coming days, former ministers Chakib Khelil, Mohamed Bedjaoui, Hamid Temmar, Amar Ghoul, Noureddine Bouterfa, as well as Abdelmalek Sellal, former Minister of Water Resources, and the former manager of BRC, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour.

Long dismissed, Sonatrach 2 case is unearthed, implicating Chakib Khelil accused of “collecting bribes, money laundering, transfers of goods obtained by corruption, markets and endorsements contrary to legislative provisions and regulations relating to the equality and transparency of measures and the granting of unjustified privileges to others at the conclusion of contracts”.

As for the BRC file, in which charges were also brought against him, alongside Ould Kaddour, it concerns some forty over-the-counter contracts concluded with BRC, for an amount of 185.7 billion dinars. Twenty-seven were by Sonatrach and fourteen by the Ministry of Defense.

The name of Chakib Khelil also appears in a third case, SNC Lavalin, which is summoned to appear before the instructing adviser of the Supreme Court, Noureddine Bouterfa, former Minister of Energy.

For the first time, the name of the former foreign minister, Mohamed Bedjaoui, is added to the long list of senior officials “worried” by the courts since the resignation of the ousted president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Former President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague (1994-1997) was cited four times in the indictment’s judgment in the East-West motorway case, without being summoned at the bar.

It would have introduced, into Algeria, the Franco-Congolese arms dealer, Pierre Falcone, considered as the conductor of the corruption that tainted this great project. According to the statement of the general prosecutor’s office of the Court of Algiers in the context of the Algerian highways, “the investigation gave rise to charges against Mohamed Bedjaoui, Chakib Khelil, and Amar Ghoul in his capacity as a former minister of Public works”.

While the judicial information opened around the National Agency for Dams has “highlighted charges against Abdelmalek Sellal in his capacity as former Minister of Water Resources, Fatmi Rachid in his capacity as former wali of Bejaïa, Hocine Ouadah, former wali of Tizi Ouzou, and Nouria Zerhouni ex-wali of Mostaganem ”. Finally, the former Minister of Investments and Promotion of Investment, Hamid Temmar, is concerned by the Batigec file, supports the general prosecutor’s office of the Court of Algiers.

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