lundi 13 juillet 2020 02:46:31


The Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Belkacem Zeghmati, stated on Sunday in Algiers that "the prerogatives of the Military Security Services in matters of the Judicial Police do not differ in any way from those attributed to the Police and the Gendarmerie".

In response to concerns raised by members of the National People's assembly about the draft Code of Criminal Procedure, Mr. Zeghmati said that "the prerogatives of the Military Security Services in relation to the Judicial Police are no different from those of the Police and the Gendarmerie", stating that "attempts to spread misconceptions within society are aimed at destroying the country that is going through a very sensitive period".

Neither the National Security and Gendarmerie nor the Military Security are authorized by law to search a home without a prior warrant from the Public Prosecutor, and claiming the opposite is impossible, he insisted, describing these claims as "poisoned words aimed at attacking society and the authority of the State".

The same applies to police custody, he said, explaining that "the rules to be observed are the same as those applied by the National Security and Gendarmerie Services, i.e. that "police custody is only placed once the Prosecutor of the Republic is informed in writing, within a period not exceeding 48 hours, of the grounds for detention". Any other situation would be against the law, he added.

Stressing that the Military Security Services are "a state institution of which we should be proud of , because history will remember their role in the construction of the Algerian state in the 1970s and 1980s, despite the detractors", he described as "serious error" the reduction "with the stroke of a pen" of the prerogatives of the Judicial Police of the Military Security Services, in 2017.

In addition, the Minister of Justice stressed the need to take anonymous reports of corruption reaching the prosecutor's office seriously, adding that "only the preliminary investigation can determine whether they are well-founded or malicious letters".

For Mr. Zeghmati, the condition of the prior complaint of the company's corporate bodies for the initiation of public action in cases of squandering or embezzlement of public funds has led to "real deadlocks", considering that "calling into question the effectiveness of the judge amounts to discrediting the institution as a whole".

In response to a question on reducing the number of cassations, the Minister explained this approach by the "significant figures" of the cases to be dealt with, stressing that at the same time, the law enshrines the right to appeal through the two-tier court system.

This question is now before the Constitutional Council in accordance with the principle of the exception of unconstitutionality and "if it decides by the unconstitutionality of this procedure, it will be withdrawn from national legislation", he concluded.

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