Algeria jails Bouteflika-era vitality minister for 20 years

Chakib Khelil, former Algerian minister of energy. (Photo by Nacerdine ZEBAR/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Chakib Khelil, former Algerian minister of vitality. (Photograph by Nacerdine ZEBAR/Gamma-Rapho through Getty Pictures)

  • Chakib Khelil, a former vitality minister in Algeria was convicted for corruption referring to the awarding of presidency contracts.
  • He has additionally been fined two million dinars.
  • Two different ministers had jail phrases on corruption allegations upheld on attraction on Tuesday.

An Algerian appeals courtroom on Tuesday upheld a 20-year jail sentence for corruption towards Chakib Khelil, vitality minister for a decade below longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the APS information company reported.

The courtroom additionally fined him two million dinars (about $13,600) and upheld jail sentences of 5 and 6 years respectively towards Mohamed Meziane, ex-head of state oil and fuel big Sonatrach, and his deputy Abdelhafidh Feghouli.

The Sonatrach officers have been accused of prioritising Italian agency Saipem over an Emirati agency for a contract to assemble the Arzew fuel complicated within the western area of Oran – at Khelil’s behest.

The officers have been additionally charged with “granting undue privileges”, abusing their positions and “concluding contracts in violation of legal guidelines and rules”, APS reported.

Two different Bouteflika-era ministers had jail phrases on corruption allegations upheld on attraction on Tuesday: Djamel Ould Abbes for six years and Mentioned Berkat for 4, the information company stated.

The courtroom additionally sentenced two representatives of Saipem in absentia to 5 years in jail.

In 2013, the Algerian judiciary had issued a global arrest warrant for Khelil over a case involving contracts between Sonatrach and overseas firms, together with Saipem, a former subsidiary of Italian vitality big ENI.

Prosecutors in Milan had accused Saipem of paying bribes to acquire contracts in Algeria, and the subsidiary was fined in 2018, earlier than being cleared by an appeals courtroom in 2020.

Khelil, now 82, stop his put up in 2010 and moved to the USA after being related to a scandal involving high-ranking Sonatrach officers who have been later jailed for corruption.

He returned to Algeria in 2016 after the instances have been dropped – then left once more after Bouteflika’s resignation in 2019 that sparked a string of investigations into graft by his officers.

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