Two Algeria ex-PMs jailed in graft trial

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An Algerian court has sentenced two former prime ministers to long jail terms, the state-run APS news agency reported.

Ahmed Ouyahia was sentenced to 15 years and Abdelmalek Sellal got a 12-year sentence.

The state prosecutor had sought 20-year prison sentences for the two ex-premiers.

This is the first in a string of high-profile corruption trials launched after longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in the face of mass protests in April.

In all, 19 defendants were tried on charges ranging from money laundering to abuse of office and granting undue privileges in the vehicle assembly industry.

A former industry minister, Abdeslam Bouchouareb, who is currently on the run abroad, was also sentenced in absentia to 20 years, according to APS while two other former industry ministers, Mahdjoub Bedda and Youcef Yousfi, were handed 10-year terms.

This is coming just two days before Algeria is due to elect a president to replace Bouteflika in a vote bitterly opposed by the country’s nine-month-old protest movement.




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