Tuesday 28 January 2020
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Bouteflika s brother mute in court as Algeria probes political graft

Said Bouteflika, the brother of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, refused to answer the judge’s questions on Saturday, as he appeared as a witness in a trial for corruption of former regime members. Sentenced to 15 years in prison in September for conspiracy against state authority, he was considered the mastermind of the “Bouteflika” system, after the debilitating stroke suffered by his brother in 2013. He is accused of having asked businessmen to raise money to finance the campaign for his brother Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s fifth term at the beginning of the year. When questioned by the judge about the amount of money and the instructions he allegedly gave, Said Bouteflika remained silent. The judge ordered that he be sent back to Blida Military Prison where he is serving his sentence. Said Bouteflika’s detention in May was part of a wave of arrests targeting the ousted president’s inner circle.

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