Algerian Judiciary Jails Two Ex-Ministers on Corruption Charges

Former Algerian Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal (Finance Ministry)
Former Algerian Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal (Finance Ministry)
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Algerian Judiciary Jails Two Ex-Ministers on Corruption Charges

Former Algerian Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal (Finance Ministry)
Former Algerian Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal (Finance Ministry)

A court in Algiers sentenced on Wednesday two former ministers to jail on corruption charges.

Sidi M'hamed Court of Algiers sentenced former Minister of Finance Mohamed Loukal to six years in prison and a fine in Algerian dinar and ordered lifting seizure on all his seized assets upon the examining magistrate’s order.

The court sentenced in absentia the fugitive, A.A., to 10 years in prison and a fine. It issued a warrant for his arrest and ordered seizing all his assets.

On August 3, the court’s public prosecutor ordered sentencing Loukal to 10 years in prison and a three million dinar fine, as well as seizing all his assets and bank accounts.

The verdicts issued against other convicts ranged between five and 10-year prison sentences and the seizure of all their assets, the local daily Echorouk reported.

The case was opened on December 2, 2018 when a letter signed on behalf of the managers of the Property Directorate at the General Directorate of the Exterior Bank of Algeria (BEA) addressed the anti-corruption judicial police.

The letter stated that Loukal received 30 billion centimes of bribery, in complicity with a number of the bank’s executives.

The court also charged Loukal of exploiting his position, squandering public funds, and concluding a deal in violation of legislative and regulatory provisions to grant unjustified privileges to others.

He was further accused of illegally acquiring interests from contracts signed by institutions, abuse of power, conflict of interest, as well as money laundering by transferring or concealing property or disguising its illegal source.

All these are among the acts stipulated and punished by the provisions of the anti-corruption law.

The same court also sentenced former minister of Solidarity Djamel Ould Abbes to three years in prison, with a fine of one million dinars and seizing all his assets.

He was acquitted of the misdemeanor of exploiting his position and was ordered to pay two million dinars to the public treasury and the Ministry of Solidarity.



US Military Targets Houthi Radar Sites in Yemen

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
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US Military Targets Houthi Radar Sites in Yemen

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)

The United States military unleashed a wave of attacks targeting radar sites operated by Yemen's Houthi militants over their assaults on shipping in the crucial Red Sea corridor, authorities said Saturday, after one merchant sailor went missing following an earlier Houthi strike on a ship.
The attacks come as the US Navy faces the most intense combat it has seen since World War II in trying to counter the Houthi campaign — attacks the militants say are meant to halt the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.
However, the Iranian-backed group assaults often see the Houthis target ships and sailors who have nothing to do with the war while traffic remains halved through a corridor vital for cargo and energy shipments between Asia, Europe and the Mideast.
US strikes destroyed seven radars within Houthi-controlled territory, the military's Central Command said. It did not elaborate on how the sites were destroyed and did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.
“These radars allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” Central Command said in a statement.
The US separately destroyed two bomb-laden drone boats in the Red Sea, as well as a drone launched by the Houthis over the waterway, it said.
The Houthis, who have held Yemen's capital, Sanaa, since 2014, did not acknowledge the strikes, nor any military losses. That's been typical since the US began launching airstrikes targeting the group.
Meanwhile, Central Command said one commercial sailor from the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier Tutor remained missing after an attack Wednesday by the Houthis that used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike the vessel.
“The crew abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Philippine Sea and partner forces,” Central Command said. The “Tutor remains in the Red Sea and is slowly taking on water.”
The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, killed three sailors, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the US Maritime Administration.
The war in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians there, according to Gaza health officials, while hundreds of others have been killed in Israeli operations in the West Bank. It began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.
“The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third-country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza,” Central Command said. “The ongoing threat to international commerce caused by the Houthis in fact makes it harder to deliver badly needed assistance to the people of Yemen as well as Gaza.”