Said Bouteflika has a first revenge. A military court of appeal in Algeria acquitted, Saturday, January 2, the younger brother and former advisor of the deposed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for “conspiracy against the authority of the State and the army”.
Said Bouteflika must now be transferred to a civilian prison pending trial in other corruption cases related to his brother’s 20-year reign, according to a judicial source. He was previously held in a military prison.
Arrested in May 2019 with three co-defendants, he was accused of having met with them in March 2019 to draw up a “destabilization plan” of the high command of the army, which then publicly demanded the departure of President Bouteflika to exit the crisis born of Hirak. This unprecedented popular uprising forced the head of state to renounce a new presidential mandate and resign, under the combined pressure of the street and the army, in April 2019.
A president who supported his brother
The 15-year prison sentences of Said Bouteflika, “Toufik”, the former all-powerful head of the sprawling Intelligence and Security Department, and his former right-hand man Athmane Tartag, who had succeeded him, were confirmed on appeal in February 2020. Louisa Hanoune, secretary general of the Workers’ Party (PT, Trotskyist), had seen her sentence reduced from 15 to three years, including nine months firm. She was released on February 10, 2020, after serving her sentence.
Said Bouteflika was the influential special adviser to his brother Abdelaziz. His power had increased to the point of being considered “president bis”, as the health of the head of state, victim of a stroke in 2013 left him paralyzed and aphasic.