Algeria court sentences Bouteflika’s brother and three others to 15 years

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An Algerian military court has sentenced the brother of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and three co-defendants to 15 years in prison as reported on Wednesday by the state APS news agency.

Said Bouteflika, seen as a key figure behind the presidency after his brother suffered a stroke in 2013, went on trial on Monday alongside two former intelligence chiefs and a political leader.

The two ex-intelligence chiefs, Mohamed Mediene and Bachir Tartag, Said Bouteflika and Louisa Hanoune, leader of the Workers Party, were arrested in May, weeks after mass protests broke out to demand the departure of the ruling elite.

All four defendants were facing charges on undermining the authority of the army and conspiring against the state in order to bring about regime change.

“Prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years to be handed down to all four,” defence lawyer Miloud Ibrahimi said, according to the AFP news agency.

Their convictions are the most high profile of prosecutions of prominent politicians and businessmen over graft allegations since Bouteflika was ousted in April after two decades in power.

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