A court in Sidi Mohamed, Algeria, acquitted the son of President Abdelmajid Tebboune on Thursday of corruption-related charges in the real estate sector. At the same time, the main suspect was sentenced to eight years in prison, according to the Algerian radio.
The verdicts were issued on Wednesday after a full day trial, which was given maximum attention, given the presence of the president’s son, Khaled Tebboune, who has been arrested since June, among the defendants.
The court sentenced the main accused, Kamal Sheikhi, to eight years in prison and a fine of 10 million Algerian dinars, about 76,000 Euros, while preventing him from participating in public deals for five years, according to the radio.
The official Algerian news agency, APA, explained that the main charge revolves around “granting concessions to benefit from illegal services by officials and employees” about obtaining illegal real estate and building licenses.
In the same case, a former mayor was sentenced to six years in prison and four years for the driver of the former police chief, for “exploiting influence and providing undue benefits to Kamal Sheikhi in exchange for money.” The radio added that, along with Khaled Tebboune, the court acquitted two judges from the charge of taking bribes.
Sheikhi, who is a real estate owner and meat importer and a close associate of the Bouteflika government, was summoned to investigation in May 2018, when more than 700 kilograms of cocaine were seized on a ship carrying meat imported from Brazil.
The investigation of this case has not yet ended, except that the repercussions were significant, the most important of which was the dismissal of the then director-general of police, Major General Abdelghani Hamel, after uncovering the involvement of his private driver. Then he was imprisoned pending his trial in several corruption cases along with members of his family.
All the people who used to visit Sheikhi in his office were investigated, including Tebboune’s son.