Corruption trial of Bouteflika’s brother begins

The corruption trial of Said Bouteflika, brother to Algeria's ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and other former officials began on Sunday

Said Bouteflika, the once-powerful brother of Algerian former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was long seen as the real power running the North African country after his brother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013

The corruption trial against the younger brother of ousted Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and other former officials began on Sunday, the official APS news agency reported.

Former presidential adviser Said Bouteflika, along with ex-justice minister Tayeb Louh, business mogul Ali Haddad and other co-accused are standing trial in the Dar El Beida court in the Algiers suburbs, APS said.

Accusations against them include “inciting the falsification of official documents”, “abuse of office”, “obstruction of justice” and “contempt of court”, it had previously reported.

The once-mighty presidential aide was long seen as the real power running the North African country after his brother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.

The trial had been due to start in late September but was postponed at the request of the defence, which cited Bouteflika’s “psychological condition” after the September 17 death of his brother.

Said Bouteflika, 63, was detained in May 2019, a month after his brother quit office following mass protests against his bid for a fifth presidential term.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for “plotting” against the army and the state, but a retrial in January cleared him of those charges.

He remains in custody on corruption charges, along with several other political and business leaders from the Bouteflika era.

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