ALGIERS- The sitting judge at the criminal tribunal of Dar El-Beïda (Algiers), on Thursday, pronounced sentences ranging from 02 years in prison to the death penalty against the defendants in the case of the young Djamel Bensmaïl, assassinated in August 2021 in Larbaâ Nath Irathen (Tizi Ouzou).
The criminal tribunal of first instance of Dar El Beïda (Algiers) pronounced, on Thursday, its verdict in the case of the murder of Djamel Bensmaïl, condemning 49 defendants to capital punishment, according to the press release of the Attorney General at the Court of Algiers.
“Under the provisions of Article 11 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Attorney General at the Court of Algiers informs public opinion that the criminal tribunal of first instance of Dar El Beïda (Algiers) handed down, this Thursday, November 24, 2022, the verdict of first instance in the case of the murder of Djamel Bensmaïl condemning 49 defendants to capital punishment. The defendants were prosecuted for the crime of intentional homicide with premeditation and ambush (lynching and assassination of the young Djamel Bensmail, followed by the mutilation of his body), in addition to the voluntary setting of fire to the forests having led to the death of several people,” said the same source.
The tribunal also sentenced 28 defendants to sentences ranging from two (02) to ten (10) years in prison, together with fines ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 DA, and acquitted 17 others.
One hundred and two (102) defendants, including four (4) women are prosecuted in this case for several charges, namely; the commission of terrorist and subversive acts against the State, national unity and stability and the proper functioning of institutions, by sowing terror among the population and creating a climate of insecurity by attacking people, endangering their lives and damaging their property, as well as participation in intentional homicide with premeditation and ambush (lynching and assassination of the young Djamel Bensmail, followed by the mutilation of his body).
The Prosecutor General at the Criminal Tribunal of Dar El-Beïda (Algiers), on Saturday, requested sentences ranging from 10 years in prison to the death penalty against the defendants in the case of the young Djamel Bensmaïn. In his indictment, the Prosecutor General stressed that this crime was aimed at destabilizing the country, through the attempts of the terrorist movement “MAK” and those who embrace these ideas to engulf it in a dark tunnel. The crime which coincided with the forest fires recorded during the summer of 2021 was committed following “a conspiracy to sow disorder and discord”, he added.
“These are terrorist acts aimed at undermining the security and stability of the state and hampering the proper functioning of its institutions,” said the Prosecutor General.
As a reminder, videos showing details of the Murder of young Djamel Bensmaïl were screened during the morning session.
Noting that Djamel Bensmaïl, 36, came from Miliana to help the affected population in the Tizi-Ouzou region. He had volunteered in the village of Larbaa Nath Irathen to help put out fires that have claimed at least 90 lives in less than a week.
Once there, the man is suspected by locals of having tried to start a fire.
Learning of these suspicions, Djamel Bensmaïl goes to the police station. But he will not have time to fully give his version of the facts.
As a police van transporting him to the police station advances through the village, a white-hot crowd gathers around him, and pulls him out of the vehicle after hitting him. Djamel is lynched to death and burned alive by an angry mob.
A few days after this tragedy which shook the country, the police services arrested 36 suspects in this lynching affair, including 3 women, among them the one who incited to cut his throat while he was burned in a video widely relayed on social networks.
The youngster, who was filming as he stabbed the victim, was arrested as he tried to flee to Morocco. Thanks to the confessions of those arrested, new suspects have been arrested.
“As part of the continuation of the investigation opened by the DGSN in the case of the assassination of the young Djamel Bensmaïl in Larbaâ Nath Irathen, the specialized services of national security arrested 25 other suspects, who were on the run in several wilayas of the country”, had then indicated the DGSN, specifying the presence among them, of members of the classified terrorist organization MAK.
The DGSN had also affirmed that the exploitation of the telephone had made it possible to discover astonishing information on the true motives of the murder, not disclosed due to the secrecy of the instruction.
On August 24, 2021, Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra announced, during a press conference during which he announced the severance of relations with Morocco, that this country had cooperated with the two terrorist groups, namely MAK (Movement for the self-determination of Kabylia) and Rachad whose involvement has been proven in the heinous crimes linked to the fires experienced by a number of wilayas in the country.
The head of diplomacy had also accused the two organizations of being behind the assassination of Djamel Bensmaïl. Since then, the investigation has continued and arrests have multiplied.