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Algeria Receives Fugitive Senior Officer from Turkey

Algeria Receives Fugitive Senior Officer from Turkey

Monday, 3 August, 2020 - 09:15
Late Algerian Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaed Salah, who died in late 2019 (Reuters)

Algerian authorities have received a fugitive senior military official who fled Algeria to Turkey days after its powerful army chief died in December.

Guermit Bounouira was handed over to Algerian security officials in Turkey on Thursday.

Charges on which the former army officer is being pursued were not mentioned, but he will face a military judge on Monday in Blida prison southwest of Algiers.

Bounouira, a top aide to late Army Chief Ahmed Gaed Salah, is described as the his “black box.”

Salah emerged last year as Algeria’s most powerful man when weekly mass protests succeeded in unseating the veteran president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and a host of other officials.

The Algerian News Agency quoted a statement by the Police Special Operations Group (GOSP) saying that “the retired first assistant, Guermit Bounouira, who fled from his country, was handed over and received thanks to the cooperation between the Algerian and Turkish police.”

The statement pointed out that Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune oversaw contacts with Ankara in this regard.

In other news, Tebboune signed on Sunday the decree amending and supplementing the penal code, which had been approved during the cabinet’s latest session.

“The new provision provides for the protection of all medical staff working in both public and private sector institutes against verbal and physical attacks,” according to a presidential statement.

It also punishes for acts of destruction of mobile and immobile property and acts of violence harming patients' dignity and deceased persons through social media sites.

The law approved further provides for a sentence of one to three years for any verbal assault, three to 10 years for any physical abuse, depending on the seriousness of the act, and a life sentence in case the person attacked dies.

Last month, Tebboune said doctors and nurses “are under the full protection of the Algerian state and people,” adding that he will issue a new bill “to protect all the country’s medical personnel and workers.”

He stressed these penalties would be “severe” and would range between “five to 10 years in prison” against any aggressor.

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