Algerian Siblings Jailed on Appeal for Bouteflika-Era Graft

Algiers, Dec 31, 2020 (AFP/APP): An Algeria appeals court on Thursday confirmed hefty jail sentences for three businessmen close to ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for corruption under his rule.

Brothers Reda, Noah-Tarek and Abdelkader-Karim Kouninef received prison sentences of 16, 15 and 12 years respectively, the official APS news agency reported. They had been found guilty earlier this year on charges including exerting undue influence, obtaining unfair advantages and money laundering. Their family owns KouGC Group, a firm specialising in civil engineering, hydraulics and construction.

The company had secured public sector contracts under the rule of Bouteflika, who stepped down in April last year under pressure from nationwide protests against his bid for a fifth term after two decades in power. Several ministers, government officials and businessmen have been convicted of corruption since Bouteflika resigned.

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