Case of Ould Abbes and Barkat: Verdict expected Wednesday

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ALGIERS – The verdict in the case of the two former ministers Djamel Ould Abbes and Said Barkat, prosecuted for embezzlement, squandering of public funds, conclusion of contracts in violation of the law and abuse of office, will be pronounced, on Wednesday, by the court of Sidi M’hamed (Algiers).

At the end of a four-day trial in this case where former officials of the Ministry of National Solidarity were being prosecuted, the judge postponed the verdict until September 16, 2020.

The Public Prosecutor at the court of Sidi M’hamed had requested, Sunday, sentences of 12 years in prison against Djamel Ould Abbes, and 10 years in prison against Said Barkat, with seizure of all their property and illegal funds.

Sentences of 8 years in prison were also required against the former Secretary General of the Ministry of National Solidarity, Bouchenak Khelladi, the Chief of Protocol, Mr. Dejellouli Said and the former Secretary General of the same ministry , Ismail Benhabiles (at large).

Regarding the son of former minister Djamel Ould Abbes (El Ouafi), on the run and involved in other corruption cases, the Public Prosecutor requested 10 years in prison against him, with the issuance of a international arrest warrant
against him for using funds from the National Solidarity Fund for electoral purposes.

During the requisition of ​​the Public Prosecutor, this latter pointed out that the value of the amounts which benefited 4 associations chaired by the former Minister of National Solidarity amounted to more than 1850 billion centimes.

The pleas of the defense collective of the two defendants focused on the public procurement code, referring to the recourse by the ministry to associations with a view to supervising solidarity operations in view of “their urgency”.

The defense stressed that “all the reports confirm that the solidarity operations were carried out in accordance with the law and that there is no misappropriation of public funds”.

APS

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