Ex-Bouteflika allies handed heavy jail terms in Algeria graft trial

This file photo taken on February 2, 2019, shows Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, the main ally of the Algerian president, speaking during a press conference in the capital Algiers. An Algerian court handed heavy prison sentences to several former allies of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for corruption, a defence lawyer said. (AFP)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Ex-Bouteflika allies handed heavy jail terms in Algeria graft trial

  • Heavy prison sentences were handed to several former allies of Bouteflika

ALGIERS: An Algerian court on Wednesday handed heavy prison sentences to several former allies of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for corruption, a defence lawyer said.
Prominent tycoon Ali Haddad was handed an 18-year jail term while former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, already behind bars over other graft cases, were sentenced to 12 years each.
Eight other former ministers were handed sentences of between two and 20 years.
Haddad's brothers -- Omar, Meziane, Sofiane and Mohamed -- were condemned to four years in prison, while the court ordered the seizure of family assets.
A lawyer for Haddad, the founder and CEO of construction firm ETRHB and former head of Algeria's main employers' organisation, slammed the verdict as "obviously political" and said the businessman would appeal.
"The defendants were members of the old regime. They are paying the price of the defeated," Khaled Bourayou added.
Bouteflika, who was Algeria's longest-serving president, was forced to resign in April last year amid enormous street protests against his decision to seek a fifth term in office despite his ill health.
While some have welcomed the trials of figures in his entourage, including his powerful brother Said and two former intelligence chiefs, many fear that they amount to little more than a power struggle between regime "clans".


Coalition forces intercept Houthi drones in Yemeni airspace

Updated 36 min 36 sec ago

Coalition forces intercept Houthi drones in Yemeni airspace

  • Houthi drones were shot down before leaving Yemeni airspace

DUBAI: The Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen have intercepted a number of armed Houthi drones, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said.

The drones were shot down in Yemeni airspace on Saturday evening after being launched by militia in the country’s capital city, Sana’a according to the state news agency SPA.

There was no suggestion that anyone was hurt in the incident.

The Houthis regualrly fire drones towards Saudi Arabia in breach of international law, but the majority are shot down without causing any fatalities or injuries.