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Algeria jails media group owner for insulting army

An Algerian man reads a local newspaper, En-Nahar, bearing a picture for the first time of former Algerian intelligence chief General Mohamed Mediene, better known as General Toufik, on the front cover in the capital, Algiers, on September 13, 2010 [FAROUK BATICHE/AFP via Getty Images]
An Algerian man reads a local newspaper, En-Nahar, bearing a picture for the first time of former Algerian intelligence chief General Mohamed Mediene, better known as General Toufik, on the front cover in the capital, Algiers, on September 13, 2010 [FAROUK BATICHE/AFP via Getty Images]

An Algerian court on Sunday sentenced the owner of Ennahar Media GroupAnis Rahmani to five years in prison on several charges of insulting the army after recording and broadcasting a phone call with an intelligence officer, reported Ennahar website.

During last week's trial, the prosecutor at the Bir Mourad Rais court in Algiers asked for Rahmani to be handed a ten-year prison term and a fine of 100,000 Algerian dinars ($777) for "insulting a commander in the performance of his duties, slandering the army, insulting a statutory body and violating the privacy of individuals, for recording and transmitting phone calls without the authorisation of its owner."

Rahmani was accused of recording and broadcasting a telephone conversation with a senior intelligence officer, resulting in a range of charges including "defamation of the army" and recording communications without consent.

He is the latest figure to be jailed who had close ties with former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

READ: Algeria considers death penalty for child abductors

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