acquittal of Saïd Bouteflika and 3 others

In Algeria, the courts acquitted Said Bouteflika, brother of the resigned former president, Generals Mohamed Mediene and Athmane Tartag, former leaders of the very powerful intelligence services and politician Louisa Hanoune, leader of the Labor Party. They were accused of “conspiracy against the army and the state” and were sentenced to first instance of 15 years in prison in September 2019.

It is a legal soap opera symbolic of the Algerian revolution that ends with this final verdict in the so-called “reunification” affair.

On March 27, 2019, amid a revolt against Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s proposed fifth term, his brother Saïd, Generals Mohamed Mediene and Athmane Tartag as well as politician Louisa Hanoune would have come together to hatch a “plan to destabilize” army ” rank had just turned its back on the head of state.

In May, a few weeks after the fall of the regime, they are arrested. In September, the military court in Blida sentenced them within a few days to 15 years in prison. These sentences were confirmed on appeal in February 2020 except Louisa Hanoune which saw his reduced to three years, of which nine months were closed. She was released immediately. Last November, the Supreme Court accepted their appeal, and a new trial at the military appellate court has just ordered their acquittal.

This Saturday night, Mohamed Mediène leaves the military clinic he had been in for three months to sleep at home. On the other hand, this will not be the case for Athmane “Béchir” Tartag, who is still subject to another legal procedure, or for Saïd Bouteflika. Former chief adviser to his brother, nicknamed “president-bis”, the latter is still to be tried for corruption along with former oligarchs.

Reached by the RFI, one of the defendants’ lawyers welcomed this acquittal. He hopes that this decision will also benefit several dozen people who have been arrested in recent months for “violations of opinion”. According to the National Committee for the Liberation of Detinees (CNLD), more than 90 people are currently being held for facts related to the protest and individual freedoms in Algeria.

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