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Algeria scolds France over Bouteflika Panama Papers coverage

The "Panama Papers" have implicated world leaders harbouring millions of dollars [Le Monde]

Date of publication: 7 April, 2016

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Algeria has complained to the French ambassador about a "malicious media campaign" after a French newspaper published a front-page picture of President Bouteflika among leaders involved in the "Panama Papers".
Algeria has summoned the French ambassador to Algeria to complain about a "hostile campaign" against the North African country by French media following the "Panama Papers" leak.

Algerian authorities summoned Bernard Emie on Wednesday to hear "vigorous protests" from Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra on the "malicious and misleading campaign" against Algeria.

"[The campaign] cannot be justified by freedom of press under any circumstances and has reached its peak of deliberate slanders targeting the president," Lamamra said in a statement.

He urged the French authorities to "clearly mark their disapproval of this campaign which is incompatible with the quality and level of Algerian-French relations." 

See Also: Murder, tax-evasion, cronyism: Yemen's 'Sugar Kings' implicated in #PanamaPapers

French newspaper Le Monde on Tuesday published a front-page photo of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika among leaders touched by the leak, before clarifying that his name does not appear in the Panama Papers.

"Contrary to the picture on Le Monde's front page on April 5, which could implicate the name of the Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, his name does not appear in the 'Panama Papers'. The heads of state's relatives are suspected of embezzling some of the country's resources," the newspaper said in a correction.

The summons comes three days before French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is due to visit Algiers.

Le Monde also reported, citing the Panama Papers, that Algerian industry minister Abdesselam Bouchouareb had an offshore company established in Panama in April 2015.

Its mission was to "manage a portfolio of real estate assets in the amount of $800,000," the paper said.

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