Algerian students stage anti-regime protests in capital

            By Hassan Jibril <br>  </p>  <p>ALGIERS (AA) - Thousands of university students on Tuesday staged demonstrations in capital Algiers -- and other parts of the country -- calling for the departure of all government officials known to be close to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.</p>  <p>According to witnesses, thousands of students -- joined by a number of university faculty members -- marched from the University of Algiers campus to the capital’s main post office.<br>

Marchers called for the immediate departure of all Bouteflika-era officials, including interim President Abdelkader Bensaleh, Prime Minister Noureddine Badawi, and members of the latter’s government.

On Sunday, Bensaleh called for a “comprehensive dialogue” between Algeria’s leading political powers in advance of presidential elections slated for July 4.

The 82-year-old Bouteflika resigned early last month following weeks of popular protest against his 20-year rule.

Bensalah, the former parliamentary speaker, is now serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period — overseen by the army — during which presidential elections will be conducted.

Demonstrators, however, have continued to demand the departure of all government officials with links to the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.

They also demand the prosecution of Said Bouteflika, the former president's brother, who has been described by detractors as the “gang leader.”

Algerians hold anti-regime demos for 11th Friday in row

                            <p>By Abdelrazzak Abdullah</p>  <p>ALGIERS (AA) - Hundreds of thousands of Algerians staged demonstrations across the country on Friday to demand the departure of all government officials closely associated with former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.</p>  <p>The 82-year-old Bouteflika resigned early last month after weeks of popular protests against his 20-year rule.</p>  <p>Parliament Speaker Abdelkader Bensalah is now serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period -- overseen by the army -- during which presidential elections will be conducted.</p>  <p>Demonstrators, however, have continued to demand the departure of all Bouteflika-era officials, including Bensalah.</p>    <p>They also demand the prosecution of Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother, who has been described by detractors as the “gang leader”.</p>  <p>On Friday, hundreds of protesters converged on the capital’s Al-Barid Square -- for the eleventh week in a row -- where they shouted anti-regime slogans and demanded accountability for alleged Bouteflika-era abuses.</p>  <p>Demonstrators have vowed to maintain their protests through the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which will begin early next week.</p>  <p>Meanwhile, security has been dramatically stepped up in and around capital Algiers, especially near the presidential palace. </p>  <p><br></p>  <p>*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p> 

Army chopper crashes in SE Algeria, injuring crew

                            <p>By Hassan Jibril</p>    <p>ALGIERS (AA) - A military training helicopter crashed Thursday in Algeria’s southeastern New Valley province, leaving the pilot and co-pilot injured.</p>    <p>The incident occurred near the New Valley provincial airport, a local source told Anadolu Agency.</p>    <p>The Algerian authorities have yet to release a statement on the incident, but photos posted on social-media platforms appear to show emergency crews inspecting the crashed helicopter.</p>    <p>In March, an Algerian military plane crashed while carrying out a nighttime training exercise in Algeria’s coastal Oran province, killing the pilot.</p>    <p>A few weeks earlier, another Algerian military plane crashed while conducting drills in the western Tiaret province, leaving both members of the two-man crew dead.</p> 

Dialogue ‘only wayout’ of Algerian crisis: Army chief

By Abdelrazzaq Abdullah

ALGIERS (AA) – Algeria’s military chief-of-staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Saleh, on Wednesday asserted that dialogue was the only wayout of the country's crisis.

Speaking during a visit to the 5th military zone, Saleh praised the positive response of some political sides to proposed initiative for dialogue.

The top military officer, however; warned of "sides that reject proposed initiatives and work on planting plots," according to a statement by the Defense Ministry.

"I am convinced that the adoption of a constructive dialogue with state institutions is the only wayout of the crisis," Saleh asserted.

The army chief went on to underline the need to keep the "peaceful nature of protests" to maintain national security and avoid undermining the country's unity.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, stepped down last month following several weeks of popular protests against his continued rule.

Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period — overseen by the army — during which presidential elections will be held.

Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all government officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Ex-Algeria PM appears before court on graft charges

By Abdelrazzak abdullah

ALGIERS (AA) – Former Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia appeared before court on Tuesday to answer corruption charges, according to the state television.

Ouyahia, who leads the National Democratic Rally (RND) party, the country’s second largest parliamentary bloc, faces multiple counts of charges, including "wasting public funds" and granting "illegal privileges".

On Monday, Algerian Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal and former police chief retired Maj. Gen. Abdelghani Hamel appeared before court to answer similar corruption charges.

Last week, Algerian authorities detained a number of businessmen close to recently-resigned President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for interrogation over corruption charges.

Early this month, the 82-year-old Bouteflika announced his resignation following several weeks of popular protests against his continued rule.

Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period — overseen by the army — during which presidential elections will be held.

Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all government officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.

They are also demanding accountability for Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother who had also served as his adviser.

  • Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

UPDATE – Algeria grills Bouteflika-era officials on corruption

            UPDATES WITH FINANCE MINISTER'S TRIAL, CHANGES HEADLINE

By Hassan Jebril and Abdelrazzak abdullah

ALGIERS (AA) – Algerian Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal appeared before court on Monday to answer corruption charges, according to the state television.

Loukal faces multiple counts of charges, including "wasting public funds" and granting "illegal privileges".

The accusations date back to the time when Loukal was in charge of the Central Bank in 2016 before being appointed as finance minister last March.

Notably, former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia is expected to face trial as well in the coming few days over similar charges.

Earlier Monday, the former head of Algerian police, retired Maj. Gen. Abdelghani Hamel, and his son appeared before court on trial on corruption charges.

The pair are accused of "illegal activities including misuse of power", according to the state television.

The former official led the Algerian police from 2010 to 2018 and has been one of the close security figures to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Last week, Algerian authorities detained a number of businessmen close to Bouteflika for interrogation over corruption charges.

Early this month, the 82-year-old Bouteflika announced his resignation following several weeks of popular protests against his continued rule.

Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period — overseen by the army — during which presidential elections will be held.

Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all government officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.

They are also demanding accountability for Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother who had also served as his adviser.

  • Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Algeria grills former police chief on corruption

            By Hassan Jebril

ALGIERS (AA) – The former head of Algerian police, retired Maj. Gen. Abdelghani Hamel, and his son appeared before court on Monday on trial on corruption charges, according to the state television.

The pair are accused of "illegal activities including misuse of power", the television said.

The former official led the Algerian police from 2010 to 2018 and has been one of the close security figures to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Last week, Algerian authorities detained a number of businessmen close to Bouteflika for interrogation over corruption charges.

Early this month, the 82-year-old Bouteflika announced his resignation following several weeks of popular protests against his continued rule.

Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period — overseen by the army — during which presidential elections will be held.

Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all government officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.

They are also demanding accountability for Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother who had also served as his adviser.

  • Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

UPDATE – Algerians hold anti-regime demos for 10th Friday in row

                            <p>ADDS FRESH DETAIL</p>    <p>By Hassan Jebril</p>    <p>ALGIERS (AA) - Hundreds demonstrated in Algiers on Friday -- and in other cities across Algeria -- to demand the departure of all government officials associated with the regime of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.</p>    <p>The 82-year-old Bouteflika resigned early this month after several weeks of popular protest against his 20-year rule.</p>    <p>Parliament Speaker Abdelkader Bensalah is now serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period -- overseen by the army -- during which presidential elections will be held.</p>    <p>Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all Bouteflika-era officials, including Bensalah.</p>    <p>They also demand the prosecution of Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother, who is described by detractors as the “gang leader”.</p>    <p>On Friday, more than 1,000 protesters converged on the capital’s Al-Barid Square -- for the tenth week in a row -- where they shouted anti-regime slogans and demanded accountability for Bouteflika-era abuses.</p>    <p>Security has been dramatically stepped up in the capital, especially in central Algiers near the presidential palace.</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p> 

Algerians hold anti-regime demos for 10th Friday in row

                            <p>By Hassan Jebril</p>    <p>ALGIERS (AA) - Hundreds of Algerians demonstrated in capital Algiers on Friday to demand the departure of all officials affiliated with the regime of ousted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned early this month after two decades in power.</p>    <p>For the tenth week in a row, more than 1,000 protesters converged on the capital’s Al-Barid Square, where they shouted anti-regime slogans and demanded the departure of all Bouteflika-era officials.</p>    <p>Early this month, the 82-year-old Bouteflika announced his resignation following several weeks of popular protests against his continued rule.</p>    <p>Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is currently serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period -- overseen by the army -- during which presidential elections will be held.</p>    <p>Demonstrators, however, have continued to call for the removal of all government officials associated with the Bouteflika regime, including Bensalah.</p>    <p>They are also demanding accountability for Said Bouteflika, the former president’s influential brother who had also served as his adviser.</p>    <p>The number of demonstrators is expected to increase following Friday prayers.</p>    <p>*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p> 

Algeria parliament prepares to lift two MPs' immunity

                             By Abdul Razak bin Abdullah</p>  <p>ALGIERS (AA) – Algeria’s parliament on Thursday said it had begun measures to lift parliamentary immunity from two MPs, both of whom had served as government ministers under recently-resigned President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.</p>  <p>In a statement, parliament identified the two MPs as Djamel Ould Abbes and Said Barakat -- both leading members of the former president’s National Liberation Front.</p>  <p>According to local media reports, both men have been charged with “squandering public funds” during their respective tenures as social insurance minister.</p>  <p>During Bouteflika’s 20-year stint as president, Ould Abbes served as social insurance minister, health minister, family minister and minister for expatriate affairs.</p>  <p>Barakat, for his part, served as health minister, agriculture minister, rural development minister and social insurance minister under Bouteflika.

Early this month, the 82-year-old Bouteflika announced his resignation following several weeks of popular protests against his rule.

Abdelkader Bensalah, a former speaker of parliament, is now serving as interim president for a 90-day transitional period during which presidential elections will be held.