heavy sentence for a former prefect of Algiers, close to Bouteflika ~ #AFP:

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Prosecuted in three cases, Mr. Zoukh was sentenced Sunday to two times four years and five years in prison by the court of Tipaza, west of Algiers, according to the official APS agency. He will only serve the longest sentence because of the non-accumulation of sentences.

The prosecution had requested sentences of 10 to 15 years in prison.

At the end of December, at first instance, the former prefect had been given four years for corruption in a scandal linking him to the former powerful boss of Algerian bosses, Ali Haddad, a close friend of the Bouteflika clan.

He was accused of having granted “dubious” privileges to Mr. Haddad, former leader of the main employers’ organization and CEO of ETRHB, the first private construction company in the country, awarded gigantic public contracts.

Mr. Zoukh was sentenced in early December for the other two cases.

He was sentenced to five years in prison for granting privileges to the family of Abdelghani Hamel, ex-boss of the Algerian police, and four years in a similar case involving the family of Mahieddine Tahkout, owner of one of the most important automobile dealer networks.

MM. Haddad and Tahkout are themselves behind bars after receiving heavy sentences for corruption.

The vast corruption and nepotism investigations launched after the fall of Mr Bouteflika have led to a series of trials which continue at a rapid pace.

After 20 years in power, Mr. Bouteflika was forced to resign on April 2, 2019 under pressure from a powerful popular protest movement, the Hirak, and the army.

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Source: VOA-AFP.

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About AFP - Agence France Presse.

AGENCE PRANCE-PRESSE (AFP): is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency. AFP has regional headquarters in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C., and news bureaux in 151 countries in 201 locations.

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