Algeria military court jails ex-leader's brother, 2 generals

Combined Shape

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The influential brother of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and two generals once in charge of intelligence have been jailed while under investigation for plotting against the state, a military tribunal said Sunday.

A statement from the tribunal in Blida, south of Algiers, said the prosecutor appointed a judge to investigate the ex-president’s younger brother Said Bouteflika, Gen. Mohamed Mediene and Gen. Athmane Tartag.

They are being investigated for “plotting against the authority of the state” and “attacking the authority of the army,” the statement said.

The arrest of three key figures from the era of Bouteflika put a new dent in the crumbling power structure of this gas-rich North African nation, which is in the midst of a deep political crisis triggered by a popular but peaceful revolt.

The ailing Bouteflika, 82, resigned April 2 under pressure from the army and weeks of street protests after two decades in power. His bid to seek a fifth presidential term had sent defiant citizens into the streets.

Trending:
New York AG: CNN, MSNBC Parent Companies Funded Millions of Phony Comments to Sway Trump Administration

A dramatic video aired on state television Sunday night showing the three men climbing the steps to the military tribunal.

Said Bouteflika, 61, was rarely seen during his brother’s presidency and the two generals almost never, giving special impact to the video.

The younger Bouteflika was widely viewed in Algeria as the man at the center of a political system that enriched the nation’s industrialists while young Algerians suffered high unemployment. He has been accused of usurping presidential powers after his brother’s 2013 stroke.

Mediene, best known as Toufik, was for 25 years in charge of military intelligence service DRS and one of Algeria’s most powerful men until he was forced to resign in 2015.

Tartag headed the DSS state security service until last month, when he quietly stepped down after Bouteflika resigned.

The powerful army chief, Ahmed Gaid Salah, had publicly accused Toufik of plotting against the popular revolt, saying in an April 16 speech that he had “irrefutable proof” and warning of legal action if he did not stop.

Without naming him, Gaid Salah denounced Said Bouteflika in another speech, condemning “plots and abject conspiracies, fomented by a gang that made fraud, wrongdoing and duplicity its vocation.”

A wider anti-corruption campaign, encouraged by the army chief, is in progress with several top industrialists currently jailed.

However, Gaid Salah himself is taking criticism from some citizens wary of his direct role in the course of events, fearing the military, which has long run the country from behind the scenes, will usurp the people’s revolt.

Related:
Fresh Off Losing a House Seat, California Reports Population Decline for the First Time Ever

Meanwhile the man officially in charge of Algeria, interim leader Abdelakader Bensalah, gave a speech Sunday night aired on national television appealing for dialogue and cooperation ahead of a July 4 presidential election.

He promised that the newly elected president would undertake “deep political reforms” as protesters have demanded, and reiterated accusations that unspecified foreign forces are threatening Algeria’s stability.

___

Associated Press writer Aomar Ouali reported this story in Algiers and AP writer Elaine Ganley reported from Paris.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation