samedi 19 septembre 2020 21:50:10

The Sidi M'hamed court: Tomorrow is THE DAY.

PUBLISHED : 09-12-2019 | 15:43

 

The Sidi M'hamed court will give its verdict on TuesDAy in the vehicle assembling case involving former officials, including former Prime Ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal as well as businessmen prosecuted for squandering public funds, granting undue advantages, abuse of office and covert financing of the election campaign of former President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The car assembling case resulted in a considerable financial loss to the Treasury estimated at 128 billion and 983 million DA, according to information revealed during the four-DAy trial.

The public prosecutor had requested a 20-year prison sentence against the two former Prime Ministers, Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, as well as the former Minister of Industry and Mines, Abdessalem Bouchouareb (on the run) with an international arrest warrant issued.

These losses are attributed to three operators prosecuted in the case, namely Mazouz Ahmed, Larbaoui Hassan and Bairi Mohamed.

Mazouz, a company that assembles vehicles and trucks, has caused losses of 39 billion DA, Larbaoui Hassan more than 87 billion DA, and Bairi Mohamed's IVAL group more than one billion DA, according to the State Treasury.

The public prosecutor explained that investment practices in the field of car assembling were "based on nepotism and favouritism from one operator to another without any legal reason, which widened the gap between the people and their institutions".

This case, which was the subject of two judicial investigations at the Supreme Court level (for senior executives) and at the Sidi M'hamed Court level (for businessmen), revealed that "some businessmen managed shell companies while benefiting from unfair tax, customs and land benefits".

In this respect, he stated that in reality, there was no assembling and automotive industry activity.

In its pleadings, the defense collective categorically denied the charges against the defenDAnts, attempting to highlight the role of these investors' companies in the development of the national economy through the creation of jobs and the training of workers.

In addition, the said collective stressed that the sources of their property "are legitimate, derived from the benefits of their various investment projects".

For his part, the public prosecutor stated that "these irresponsible practices have caused the citizen to lose confidence in his institutions to the point where he suspects that these trials are taking place".

He also stressed that "this case is a first in the annals of Algerian justice, the importance of which is reflected in the effective application of the law on the governor and the governed".

"Due to the practices of these leaders, Algeria has not achieved economic development despite the wealth it contains. His youth suffers from poverty and risks his life in death boats," he said.

 

At the end of the intervention of the public prosecutor on the defence pleadings, the judge gave the defenDAnts the opportunity to make their final statements.

Abdelmalek Sellal, for his part, affirmed "his love for his country, his devotion and his abnegation in the accomplishment of the missions entrusted to him in his professional career". He said he had withdrawn from the campaign leadership of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, having noticed overruns.

For their part, the former Industry Ministers, Youcef Yousfi and Mahdjoub BedDA, the former Minister of Transport and Public Works, Abdelghani Zaalane and the former Wali of Boumerdes, Yamina Zerhouni, declared that they had "served the country with dedication and self-denial", expressing confidence in the national justice system, pleading their acquittal and innocence from all charges brought against them.

Like Farès Sellal (son of the former Prime Minister), Semaï Karim, Semaï Sofiane and officials of the Ministry of Industry and Mines, the businessmen prosecuted, Ali HadDAd, Ferrat Ahmed, Hadj Malek Saïd, Mohamed Baïri, Maazouz Mohamed, Achour Abboud, Hassan Larbaoui and Nemroud Abdelkader, have requested their acquittal, pleading their innocence from the charges brought against them.

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