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Ex-Algeria minister jailed for graft

April 8, 2022 at 8:55 am

Former Algerian culture minister Khalida Toumi [Wikipedia]

An Algerian court yesterday sentenced former culture minister Khalida Toumi to six years in prison and issued a 200,000 dinars fine ($1,430) after rinding her guilty of corruption, Anadolu news agency reported.

The official APS agency said Toumi, 64, the longest serving minister during the rule of the late President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was charged with squandering public funds, abuse of office and granting undue privileges.

The same court convicted a former official at the ministry, Abdel Hamid Blidia, to four years and a fine of 200,000 dinars ($1,430). Meanwhile, the former director of culture in the province of Tlemcen, Abdelhakim Miloud, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 100,000 dinars ($715), according to the same source.

The charges are centred on state-organised cultural events including Algeria, the capital of Arab culture in 2007, the African Festival in 2009, and Tlemcen; the capital of Islamic culture in 2011.

The ruling can be appealed.

In November 2019, Toumi was imprisoned, making her the first high-ranking minister-level official, under President Bouteflika, to be imprisoned.

Before assuming the position of Minister of Culture, Toumi was a leader and a former parliamentarian in the secular Rally for Culture and Democracy Party.

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