The military investigative judge decided last Thursday to close the case of “conspiracy aiming at dealing a blow to the authority of the commander of a military formation” and “conspiracy to change the regime”, after expanding the list of defendants in the case to include seven people, namely: Said Bouteflika, brother of former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, former intelligence chief, Major General Mohamed Mediène, named “Tewfiq”, Bachir Tartag, former coordinator of the intelligence services, and Louisa Hanoune, Secretary General of the Workers’ Party, in addition to retired Major General Khaled Nezzar and his son Lotfi along with the Acting assistant of Khaled Nezzar as well as the neighbor of Said Bouteflika, a mediator who acted between them namely Farid Benhamdine.
Converging sources revealed to “Echorouk”, that the military investigative judge at the Blida Court, who decided on 3rd August 2019 not to refer the case of “conspiracy aiming at jeopardizing to the authority of the commander of a military formation,” and “conspiracy to change the regime”, the emergence of new evidence against both former Defense Minister Khaled Nezzar and his son Lotfi, the director of SLC “Smart Link Communications”, in addition to acting assistant of Khaled Nezzar, a mediator between them, namely Farid Benhamdine, closed the case file, Thursday, September 5, after the completion of all legal proceedings related to “questioning” and “confrontation” between the parties involved in the case, which began with four defendants last May, and which became 7 defendants in August.
The military investigating judge at the Blida military court, who issued an international arrest warrant for Khaled Nezzar and his son in charge of his work, will refer the file to the scheduling section, so they will be tried in absentia by force of law in keeping with Article 77 of the Algerian Military Justice Law, which states that “the penalty shall be punishable by death, an assault whose purpose is either to destroy or change the system of government, or to incite citizens or the population to take up arms against an authority.”
The seven suspects are charged with two counts of conspiracy, with the aim of infringing on the authority of the commander of a military formation. The act is punishable under article 284 of the Military Justice Law and is punishable by 5 to 10 years in jail.
The second charge is conspiracy to change the regime in line with Article 77 and 78 of the Penal Code and carries the death penalty. This is in accordance with the seriousness of the facts, which fall within the very grave offenses, the penalties of which are very serious, “punishable by the Code of Criminal Procedure and military justice.
The same sources also revealed that the military investigating magistrate, before the expiry of the legal period of 4 months’ imprisonment, ordered on August 19 to renew the temporary detention period for Said Bouteflika, Tewfiq, Tartag and Louiza Hanoune, while the lawyers of the defendants filed a new request for their release, but once again the indictment chamber rejected the request and upheld the military investigating judge’s decision.