Algeria: Ex-Prime Minister in court

Former Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, is being heard by the Algiers Prosecutor’s Office in cases of “squandering public funds and undue advantages.”

Ahmed Ouyahia, four times Prime Minister since 1995, including three times under the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned on April 2, arrived at the Sidi M’hamed court in central Algiers in the morning, according to images broadcast by private television stations.

According to Algerian national television, “Ahmed Ouyahia is currently appearing before the Public Prosecutor of the Sidi M’hamed Court in cases of squandering public funds and undue advantages.”

The day before, the current Minister of Finance and former Governor of the Central Bank, Mohamed Loukal, had been heard in the same court, from which he had emerged free.

On April 20, the court announced that it had summoned Ouyahia and Loukal, without specifying whether it wished to hear them as witnesses or suspects, or how they were involved in these cases.

Since Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s departure from power following massive protests, the judiciary has reported that it has opened a series of investigations into corruption targeting several powerful businessmen and senior government officials.

The demonstrators, who are still demanding the departure of the entire “system” in power, have since the beginning of the protest on 22 February, been denouncing the disturbing links between the Bouteflika presidency and the “oligarchs”, businessmen who made their fortune thanks to huge public contracts.


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