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Former Algerian President’s brother jailed



The influential younger brother of the late Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has been sent to prison for two years for obstructing the course of justice.

Said Bouteflika was sentenced alongside the former justice minister, Tayeb Louh, and a businessman, Ali Haddad. Mr. Louh will serve six years while Mr. Haddad will be in jail for two years. All three were detained after President Bouteflika was forced from office in 2019.

President Bouteflika was forced to resign in the face of mass protests against his bid for a fifth term in office in 2019 and died in September after suffering a debilitating stroke for eight years aged 84.

His departure was followed by a string of prosecutions against senior members of his inner circle, most prominently his brother Said who had been seen as the real power behind the throne after the longtime ruler suffered a stroke in 2013.

The prosecution had called for seven years’ jail for Said, who was charged with other former officials for “abuse of office”, “inciting the falsification of official documents”, “obstruction of justice” and “contempt of court”.

The main accused at the trial in Dar El Beida, east of Algiers, was former justice minister Tayeb Louh.

Said Bouteflika, 63, was arrested in May 2019 and sentenced to 15 years for “plotting against the state and the army” during the final days of his brother’s rule.

On January 2, he was acquitted of those charges by a military appeals court but was handed to a civil court to face trial on corruption charges.

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