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Algeria TV shows arrest of ex-leader's brother, ex-spy bosses Open in fullscreen

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Algeria TV shows arrest of ex-leader's brother, ex-spy bosses

Said Bouteflika, 61, was widely seen as the real power behind the presidency [Algeria TV]

Date of publication: 6 May, 2019

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Algerian state television has aired footage of the arrest of the powerful brother of deposed president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and two former intelligence chiefs.
Algerian state television has aired footage of the arrest of the powerful brother of deposed president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and two former intelligence chiefs.

The dramatic video aired on Sunday night after the three senior officials were jailed while under investigation for plotting against the state.

State television interrupted its regular programming to broadcast a special news bulletin showing the trio being brought to court, scenes that were unimaginable to most Algerians just weeks ago.

The footage shows Said Bouteflika, General Mohamed Mediene and Athmane Tartag climbing the steps to the military tribunal.

The arrests were the highest-profile legal moves against loyalists of the ex-leader since he resigned last month in the face of mass protests and pressure from the army.

Military prosecutors in the southern town of Blida said in a statement the men had been placed under provisionary detention Sunday on accusations of "undermining the authority of the army" and "conspiring against the authority of the state".

Said Bouteflika, 61, was widely seen as the real power behind the presidency after his brother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013.

Mediene, known as Toufik, headed the all-powerful secret service for 25 years and Tartag served as intelligence coordinator.

The charges for which they are being investigated are punishable by prison terms of between five and 10 years.

Over a month after the departure of Bouteflika on April 2 huge demonstrations are ongoing in the North African country with people demanding the removal of regime insiders.

Algeria's army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah has become a key powerbroker since breaking with president Bouteflika and pushing for him to go.

A wider anti-corruption campaign, encouraged by the army chief, is in progress with several top industrialists currently jailed.

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