Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Algeria Arrests Key Popular Movement Personality

Algeria Arrests Key Popular Movement Personality

Friday, 20 September, 2019 - 07:30

An Algerian court yesterday ordered the arrest of a prominent figure in the popular movement calling for a comprehensive change and cutting out the former regime, making it the third arrest in a few days.

Fadeel Boumalleh, who is a harsh critic and journalist known for speaking truth to power, was arrested and faces charges of disrupting national unity.

Boumalleh, according to a Facebook post written by attorney Abdulghani Badi, was arrested at his residence in the capital’s suburbs.

On the other hand, the head of Algerian former ruling party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), Mohamed Djemai, on Thursday was placed under custody pending trial, local media reported.

The official APS news agency quoted a source in capital Algiers that Djemai has been sent to the prison of El Harrach, where several other high ranking officials and prominent businessmen are jailed, as part of a wide scale anti-corruption operation in this North African nation.

The source specified that the defendant appeared earlier on Thursday before the public prosecutor, and then was referred to the examining magistrate, over charges of threatening and destroying official documents.

The Parliament's Committee for Legal, Administrative, and Freedoms validated recently a request of Justice Minister Belkacem Zeghmati for waiving the parliamentary immunity of three parliament members, including Mohammed Djemai. The other two are Smail Benhamadi and Berri Saker.

Several prominent businessmen, including tycoons Issad Rebrab, Ali Heddad, and Mahieddine Tahkout, were placed under custody amid an unprecedented anti-corruption operation launched by the Algerian justice following the ousting of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Some government senior officials, including two former prime ministers Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, were also detained.

On another note, two people were killed in overnight clashes between protesters and security forces in the region of Relizane, about 300 km west of Algiers, according to a statement issued by the public prosecution.

Editor Picks