“GB Pharma”: Ouyahia and Sellal risk a new prison sentence

It was during the day yesterday Tuesday, May 10, 2022, that the Attorney General at the Court of Algiers requested the same penalties required by the Public Prosecutor at the economic and financial penal pole of the court of Sidi M’ hamed, in November 2020, against the two former Prime Ministers, Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, for granting undue privileges to the “Condor” Group and its subsidiaries, including facilitations for the construction of a manufacturing plant medicines “GB Pharma”, a 10-year prison sentence with a fine of one (1) million dinars.

In February 2021, the judge at the Court of Algiers confirmed the sentences pronounced against the former Prime Ministers, Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, prosecuted for corruption in the “GB Pharma” affair. Indeed, the judge delivered his verdict during the appeal trial, on February 21, 2021, where he had pronounced in this case a sentence of 5 years in prison against Ouyahia and Sellal.

“GB pharma” the sentences required against Ouyahia and Sellal confirmed

At the opening of the hearing, the defense reported procedural flaws and requested in this respect “the annulment of the prosecution”.

Maître Mourad Khader, Sellal’s lawyer, raised the “unconstitutionality” of the lawsuit given that the Constitution before and after its revision “provides for a special court to judge the acts committed by the Prime Minister within the framework of the exercise of his functions. As a result, and under article 138 of the Basic Law, this court is not empowered to try the defendant”. According to Abdelmalek Sellal’s lawyer, this case is “purely political. It has nothing to do with criminal law. It is therefore more appropriate for this body to decide to refer the defendant to the Constitutional Court”.

“His mission is to direct the general policy of the country. It is a shame to see him condemned on several occasions for “granting undue advantages” or for “signing a contract in violation of public contracts”. Politically and legally, the Prime Minister is accountable for his actions to Parliament. ” According to Ahmed Ouyahia’s lawyer, who adds: “This file is the only one where we have separated politicians from businessmen when they are linked by the facts. Today, that the businessmen are released, we expect a decision in their favor, otherwise there will be a flagrant contradiction. Ahmed Ouyahia’s lawyer also described this as “relentless” against his client.

The two former Prime Ministers are prosecuted for, “Abuse of office, granting of undue advantages in the context of public contracts in violation of the regulations and hidden financing of the electoral campaign of the late deposed President, for a 5th term. The latter two have denied all the charges.

The Benhamadi brothers are also being prosecuted for participating in the financing of the electoral campaign of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, through a bank account opened specifically to collect financial contributions from parties unrelated to the election.

The judgments relating to this case will have to be pronounced by the Court of Algiers during a session scheduled for May 24, said the judge.

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