The Algiers Judicial Council yesterday upheld the decision to jail Said Bouteflika, the brother and former adviser of the late President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, for eight years in the case of secret funding of the presidential elections which were cancelled in April 2019.
The council also upheld the decision to imprison for four years former businessman Ali Haddad.
It abolished the seizure notice against the assets Said Bouteflika inherited from his deceased mother and brother Mustafa, which had been previously confiscated.
The late president's brother admitted that he possessed money and real estate, but he completely denied that he obtained them through suspicious sources, stressing that they were "lawful" and he earned them through his work, or inherited them from his family.
The case dates back to the weeks that preceded the late President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's announcement that he would run for a fifth term and relates to the establishment of a TV channel which was used to promote his bid for the presidency. The channel cost $53 million to set up and the funds had been allocated to a sports channel.
Said Bouteflika was prosecuted on corruption charges relating to influence peddling, abuse of office, failure to declare property, illicit enrichment, money laundering, secret financing of a political party, and concealing revenues obtained through corruption. Businessman Ali Haddad was charged with money laundering, secret financing of a political party and concealing revenues obtained through corruption.
Said has continuously denied the charges against him. While Haddad said he did not commit any action that violated the law, and he had not heard about the channel before.