Towards a new trial for Major General Said Bey

Retired Major General Saïd Bey, commander of the 4th Military Region, sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, in June 2021, by the military court of Blida, saw his appeal in cassation ruled by the Supreme Court. According to the latter, many properties subject to prosecution were affected by the prescription and others were acquired years before the law 01/06 to fight against corruption. It therefore decided to conduct a second examination of the case before the Ouargla Military Court of Appeal.

It should be recalled that the latter was sentenced for “illicit enrichment” and “abuse of office”, to 15 years of criminal imprisonment, confirmed on appeal with “warrant of committal at the hearing” and “confiscation of all” his property , with the exception of the family home.

According to his three lawyers Garmia Faria, Mokrane Aït Larbi and Abdelhak Mellah, Major General Said Bey explained to the Court his devotion to his country and his veneration of the military institution, but that this should not prevent him from challenge what is alleged against him by the courts.

The lawyers also added that “despite the justification made during the investigation and at the hearing of the legality of all the elements of his personal assets and that of each of the members of his family, with regard to their respective legitimate incomes, legality, moreover, duly proven and attested by probative evidence, the conviction previously pronounced as well as the sentences imposed were once again unjustly confirmed”.

And they also evoked the past of their client, “a militant of the national cause, imprisoned in colonial jails at the age of 14, member of the ALN, member of the ANP for more than 57 years, leader of 3 military regions for more than 20 years, defense attaché in Brussels for 2 years, grand medalist of two Middle Eastern wars (1967-1973), senior officer rightly raised to the rank of general-major”.

Zerrad sentenced to 5 years in prison

Another general-major, Chérif Zerrad, head of one of the most powerful departments of the army, that of the employment-preparation of the general staff, was considered as one of the trusted men of the late leader. General Staff Ahmed Gaïd Salah. A presidential decree signed by the late Head of State, Abdelkader Bensalah, mentioned the termination of his duties, from October 12, 2019, appeared on Thursday March 17, at the Blida military court.

Major General Chérif Zerrad, in detention since May 2020 for “illicit enrichment” and “influence peddling” in favor of his son. The prosecutor had requested the maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, but Cherif Zerrad was sentenced only for the second count, as for the first, the general-major was acquitted, because according to his lawyers, he has “provided all the justifications to prove that the numerous assets he holds were acquired legally thanks to his means, given that he had undergone long training abroad”, with the lifting of all measures conservatories of seizure decided against him by the investigating judge.

The prosecution could appeal the decision, so his sentence of 5 years in prison could be reviewed at the court level, since the latter is not yet final.

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