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Algeria holds former head of ruling party in custody on charges of corruption

Algerians stage a demonstration demanding regime officials -- who continue to work after former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned -- to step down, in Algiers, Algeria on 5 July 2019. [Farouk Batiche - Anadolu Agency]
Algerians stage a demonstration demanding regime officials -- who continue to work after former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned -- to step down, in Algiers, Algeria on 5 July 2019. [Farouk Batiche - Anadolu Agency]

The Algerian Supreme Court on Sunday ordered the former secretary-general of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) Djamel Ould Abbes to be held in custody pending investigation on charges of corruption.

Ould Abbes yesterday attended a court hearing in which he was charged with “wasting public funds, abuse of power, violation of public procurement procedures to sign contracts illegally and falsification of public documents”.

A few days ago, Ould Abbes voluntarily waived his parliamentary immunity as a member of the National Assembly after the chamber began procedures to strip him of immunity at the request of the judiciary.

READ: Algerian interim leader says dialogue and elections only democratic solutions 

Ould Abbes, a close associate of the former presidential circles, has led several ministries and has served as the FLN’s general secretary between 2016 and 2018.

The Algerian judiciary has been investigating several officials and businessmen close to the regime of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on charges of corruption, some of whom have been jailed, while others have been placed under judicial supervision.

The investigations led to the imprisonment of former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, former commerce minister Amara Ben Younis and former national security chief Abdelghani Hamel and two of his sons.

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