Algerians are angered by the "exclusion" of ministers from jail despite their involvement in corruption of businessmen

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Algerians are angry at the exclusion of ministers from jail despite their involvement in corruption of businessmen

In Algeria, there is a debate over why senior political officials, who were the cover of impunity and huge privileges for prominent businessmen, are not jailed for corruption. The last of them was businessman Mohieddine Tahkout, the owner of the only university transport services company in the country, who also owns a car company. He was placed in pre-trial detention at dawn yesterday, along with his son and two brothers.

Pictures of Tahgout and his family, coming from the national gendarmerie and entering Sidi Mohamed's court in the capital yesterday, were widely circulated in social networks and news bulletins on local satellite channels. The state news agency said that he was detained on suspicion of involvement in "cases involving the use of undue privileges, awarded to him by cadres at the National Office of University Services and the Ministry of Transport, for his activities in university services, and also by cadres of the Ministry of Industry and the National Agency for Investment Promotion, With the company (Sima Motors) (for the installation of Asian cars) owned ».

Activists were surprised by what they called an "exception" of political officials from pre-trial detention, in the follow-up against businessmen. They said that without the influence of these officials and the high positions and jobs they were in, contractors and merchants such as Tahkut and Haddad could not have become, in a few years, one of the country's richest people. These traders are suspected of possessing enormous wealth, setting up businesses and investments thanks to bank loans offered to them without guarantees, and thanks to laws that were tailored to take profitable projects in the oil, gas, irrigation and public works sectors.

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The investigating judge also listened to government officials yesterday in the case but was not charged. Former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and former governor of Algiers, Abdelkader Zoukh, were seen entering the court at about the same time, without anyone giving a reason for their attendance. But it is no secret to anyone in the Algerian political circles that Tahkout was considered close to Ouyahia and Zoukh when they were in power.

Ouyahia, Zoukh and 11 former ministers were heard a few days ago on suspicion of corruption belonging to the brothers Koninav, three businessmen who have companies and real estate, who had strong ties with the family of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The three are also in pre-trial detention, in addition to the President of the Forum of Heads of Companies Ali Haddad, who is awaiting a verdict against him a few days later. The prosecution requested his conviction during his 18 months in prison. Yessid Rebrab, who was famous for his opposition to the Bouteflika regime, was also jailed.

The journalist and human rights activist Hassan Boras said that Mohieldin Tahkout "is not accused as much as the victim of an integrated corrupt system that disappears behind his name and used it as a front to seize public money as it did with Ali Haddad, a watermelon seller. Since years). Today the judicial system is imprisoning the factory and leaving the manufacturer free. "

Journalist Najib Belhimer said: "Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind, as we follow the news of calls from businessmen, tires and senior officials to investigate these corruption cases, is the talk that was circulating about the suspicions surrounding projects worth billions of dollars, That talk has been classified as what the official discourse calls the malicious rumors propagated by those who want to disrupt the sincere efforts being made for the development of the country ».

Belhimer said that "what the judiciary has moved to consider today has been suspect for years. This simply means that the judiciary was restricted and was not allowed to move. This places the judges before a great moral accountability, as well as an examination of the media and the existing system as a whole , And reveals the extent of corruption, which plunged the country, which has become a system of its own separate hierarchy and laws and political cover, which makes it immune from any prosecution, and even trials may stop at a certain level, because the effects may be obscured oral orders that come by telephone.

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(tagsToTranslate) Algerians are angry at the "exception" of ministers from jail despite their involvement in corruption of businessmen

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