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Algeria confirms jail sentences for two former PMs

Thousands of Algerians take part in an anti-government demonstration against Bouteflika regime figures in Algiers, Algeria on November 05, 2019. [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]
Thousands of Algerians take part in an anti-government demonstration against Bouteflika regime figures in Algiers, Algeria on 5 November 2019 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

An Algerian appeals court on Wednesday upheld 15-year and 12-year sentences for two former prime ministers jailed in corruption cases that were brought in response to mass protests against the ruling elite, Reuters reports.

The court in Algiers also halved five-year prison sentences for two former industry ministers and reduced the prison terms of prominent businessmen.

Former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal were jailed for 15 and 12 years respectively on charges including “misappropriation of public funds, abuse of power and granting undue privileges”.

The cases are linked to the car assembly industry in the north African country and illegal financing of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s election campaign.

Bouteflika, who ruled for 20 years, resigned in April last year, under pressure from protests rejecting his plan to seek a fifth term in office and demanding the prosecution of people involved in corruption and the removal of the ruling elite.

READ: The Algerian regime has simply reproduced the old idiocy 

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