ALGIERS- The “Military Security Services, the Police and the Gendarmerie have similar prerogatives in terms of judicial police,” Minister of Justice Belkacem Zeghmati said Sunday in Algiers.
Answering questions of People National Assembly’s members (APN-Lower House) about the draft Code of Criminal Procedure, Zeghmati said that “the prerogatives of the Military Security Services in terms of Judicial Police are no different from those attributed to the Police and the Gendarmerie.”
“The attempts of spreading false ideas in the society aim at harming the country which is experiencing a highly sensitive period,” he said.
Neither the National Police, Gendarmerie nor the Military Security Services are authorized, under this law, to search a house without a prior mandate issued by the Public Prosecutor, he stressed.
Allegations of contrary practices are, for the minister, “dangerous statements aiming at harming the society and the authority of the State.”
With regard to the detention in custody, Zeghmati said that the same rules are applied by the National Police and Gendarmerie services.
“The Prosecutor of the Republic must be notified, in writing within a period not exceeding 48 hours, of the reasons of the detention in custody before its application.” Any other situation would be against the law, he explained.
The Military Security Services are part of the “State institutions, which are a source of pride. History will remember their role in building the Algerian State during the 1970s and 80s,” the Justice Minister said.
Moreover, Zeghmati called for taking into consideration the anonymous reports of corruption cases, adding that “only preliminary investigation can determine whether these reports are founded or not.”
Many people resort to this method (anonymous letter) to denounce cases of public funds misuse, for fears of reprisals, he added.
For Zeghmati, the condition of a prior complaint by the corporate bodies for the trigger of judicial action in public funds misuse and embezzlement cases has led to “true deadlock,” adding that “questioning the efficiency of judges’ work means discrediting the institution as a whole.”