Algeria court upholds 15-year sentence for Bouteflika's brother

Algeria court upholds 15-year sentence for Bouteflika's brother
Said Bouteflika, 62, was long seen as the real power behind the presidency in recent years. (AFP/File)
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Updated 11 February 2020

Algeria court upholds 15-year sentence for Bouteflika's brother

Algeria court upholds 15-year sentence for Bouteflika's brother
  • Algeria's state prosecutor sought an increased penalty of 20 years in jail
  • Said Bouteflika, 62, was seen as the real power behind the presidency since 2013

ALGIERS: An Algerian military court on Monday upheld a 15-year prison term for the brother of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and two ex-intelligence chiefs convicted of conspiracy against the state, a lawyer said.

The once mighty Said Bouteflika, 62, was long seen as the real power behind the presidency after his brother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.

He had served as a key presidential aide but was detained in May last year, a month after Bouteflika quit office weeks into mass protests against his bid for a fifth presidential term.

In September Said Bouteflika, along with several other senior regime officials, was sentenced by a military tribunal to 15 years in jail for "conspiring" against the state and undermining the army's authority.

Their convictions were the most high-profile in a string of prosecutions of prominent politicians and businessmen after Bouteflika was pushed out in April after two decades in power.

A court in Blida, south of Algiers, began hearing an appeal against the sentences on Sunday behind closed doors and amid heavy security.

Algeria's state prosecutor sought an increased penalty of 20 years in jail, lawyers said, but the court confirmed the original sentences.

"Said Bouteflika, General (Athmane) Tartag and General (Mohamed Lamine) Mediene received 15 years in prison. The initial verdict was confirmed," lawyer Boudjemaa Guechir told AFP.