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Algerian Courts Dedicate themselves to Fight Corruption

Algerian Courts Dedicate themselves to Fight Corruption

Tuesday, 16 July, 2019 - 09:45
Algerian former Industry Minister Youcef Yousfi. (Reuters)
Algiers - Boualem Goumrassa

For weeks, the Algerian judiciary has been dedicating itself to fight corruption in the country.

It tasked judges with the mission to track down those involved in bribery and waste of public money among local executives, contractors and businessmen, who have amassed huge wealth from government deals and projects.

Not a day goes by in Algeria without news about the arrest, detention or interrogation of state officials on corruption charges. Security and judicial investigations are being conducted at a rapid pace.

The latest developments saw a court in Msila in the southwest order the temporary detention of two people and placing 11 others under judicial supervision for falsifying documents and files linked to domestic projects and investments for personal enrichment, Algeria Press Service (APS) reported.

According to the government agency, judicial police suspect 40 people are involved in the case, mostly small government officials who have forged administrative documents for contractors in order to win deals without being bound by the law on public procurement.

They were also suspected of carrying out large-scale deals sponsored and directed by premiers and ministers, some of whom are in prison, such as Ahmed Ouyahia, Abdelmalek Sellal, Amara Benyounes, Djamel Ould Abbes and Said Berkat.

On Sunday, former Industry Minister Youcef Yousfi was the latest official to be placed in provisional detention on fraud allegations.

His arrest created a shock among Algeria’s diplomatic circles given that he served as ambassador to the United Nations and Canada.

Unlike all the ministers imprisoned by the judiciary, Yousfi was not known to be close to Bouteflika or his brother, Said, who wielded great influence in the country before his arrest.

He, however, followed orders from the presidency, which served the interests of certain businessmen in violation of the law.

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