Corruption: Heavy prison sentences for Ouyahia and Sellal

15 and 12 years of imprisonment were handed down Thursday by the Algiers Court of Appeal against former Algerian prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal respectively for corruption.

Former Prime Ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal were sentenced to these sentences for the two cases of automobile assembly and covert financing of the election campaign for a 5th presidential term of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

These judgments confirm the sentences of 15 years and 12 years of imprisonment handed down at the first trial in December 2019 against these two Algerian officials.

The former ministers of industry, Youcef Yousfi and Mahdjoub Bedda, were also prosecuted for their involvement in these two cases, who were sentenced to 3 and 2 years in prison respectively.

Former President of the Forum of Business Leaders (FCE), Ali Haddad and businessmen Hassane Larbaoui and Ahmed Maazouz, were also sentenced to 4 years in prison, while businessman Mohamed Bairi received three years in prison.

The automobile scandal resulted in a loss to the Treasury estimated at more than 128 billion dinars (975 million euros), according to official figures.

Several personalities and former politicians, powerful bosses and senior officials are being tried in these trials.

They are being prosecuted, in particular, for the hidden financing of Bouteflikas last election campaign in early 2019, and for patronage in the automotive industry through partnerships between foreign brands and major Algerian groups, often owned by businessmen linked to the entourage of the former president.