Algerian ex-pm sellal in custody over graft allegation, state tv says

Algerian ex-pm sellal in custody over graft allegation, state tv says

Yahoo - World·2019-06-13 18:15

By Hamid Ould Ahmed

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria’s supreme court on Thursday remanded former prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal in custody over allegations of corruption, state television reported.

Sellal is one of the closest associates of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to be detained since protests broke out in February, demanding the prosecution of people the protesters regarded as corrupt.

Sellal, who served as prime minister and Bouteflika's campaign managers several times, is under investigation over "dissipation of public funds".

His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

On Wednesday, the same court had ordered the detention of another former prime minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, for alleged involvement in corruption, including "awarding illegal privileges and dissipation of public funds".

A judge at the supreme court confiscated the passport of former transport and public works minister Abdelghani Zaalane and ordered him to show up at the court once a month, state TV reported on Thursday, after saying on Wednesday he was detained.

Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 under pressure from the army, which is now the main decision-maker. Its chief of staff, Ahmed Gaed Salah, has urged the courts to speed up prosecution of people suspected of involvement in corruption.

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