Brother Of Desposed Algerian Leader Sentenced To 15 Years

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Bouteflika
Said Bouteflika

THE brother of Algeria’s deposed former president has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring against the state and undermining the military.

Said Bouteflika was widely seen as the real power behind the presidency after his brother, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, suffered a stroke in 2013.

Two former secret service chiefs and a political party head were also sentenced after the two-day trial.

President Bouteflika was ousted in April following pro-democracy protests.

The defendants were detained in May during a wave of arrests targeting the former president’s inner circle.

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The ailing ex-leader is in a residence west of Algiers, and is not expected to face trial.

The current authorities in Algeria have promised to crack down on what the call “the gang” that used to surround President Bouteflika and bring them to justice, the BBC’s Ahmed Rouaba says.

This trial is designed to show that the government is serious about fighting what it says is corruption at the highest level of the state, our reporter adds.

The charges related to an alleged meeting between Said Bouteflika and his co-defendants in March.

He was accused of conspiring with two secret service leaders, Gen Mohamed Mediene and Gen Athmane Tartag, and the head of The Workers’ Party, Louisa Hanoune.

They were said to be considering declaring a state of emergency and firing the army chief, Gen Ahmed Gaid Salah, as protests against the president were mounting.

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