Algiers — 2019 was the year of the fight against corruption par excellence, considering the institution of proceedings against former senior officials within the State, involved in corruption cases and money laundering, a totally new fact in the history of the Algerian justice.
This confirms the changes experienced by the country and preludes to the end of an era of impunity in the sense that former top officials, mainly former Prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, were sentenced to 15 and 12 years' imprisonment, respectively, as well as former ministers and businessmen involved in corruption cases.
The fight against this phenomenon is far from being a simple temporary campaign, insofar as the new President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune committed, following his election, to continuing the fight against corruption.
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He also renewed this commitment in his inaugural speech, pointing out that "the presidential pardon won't include sentenced persons or those involved in corruption cases."
In his roadmap, President of the Republic emphasized the "organized" fight against corruption, lamenting the spirit of the "anarchic" distribution of the incomes. Better yet, he committed to restoring the State's authority by reforming the political life, continuing the fight against corruption, while stressing the need to end with "the policy of impunity and the practices relating to the anarchic distribution of oil revenues."
In the beginning of December, Sidi M'hamed Court requested 20-year sentence and from DZD100,000 to two million dinars fine against former ministers and businessmen involved in the car assembly case, causing the loss of more than DZD128 billion to the Public Treasury.
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Other trials are also to be held, indicating deep ramifications of the phenomenon of corruption in Algeria.
State mobilizes all means to eradicate corruption
The fight against corruption, that occurred in the wake of the popular movement of 22 February 2019, was one of the main claims of the Algerians.
In this regard, this claim was among the priorities of the State with the mobilization of all the necessary means to eradicate this scourge which has taken alarming proportions in recent years and damaged teh national economy.
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This willingness to end with this phenomenon was achieved through the changes conducted at the institutional level, like the appointment, in May 2019, of a new chairman of the National Body of Prevention and Fight against Corruption (ONPLC) Tarek Kour, replacing Sebaibi Mohamed.
The changes also affected the Central Corruption Repression Office (OCRC), whose director general Mokhtar Rahmani was replaced by Mokhtar Lakhdari.