The former chairman of the Algerian Businessmen Forum, Ali Haddad, sentenced to 18 and 7 years in prison, on corruption charges, hired a lobbyist close to President Donald Trump for an eye-popping $10 million to pressure Algeria, the US Foreign Lobby website said.
The American Foreign Lobby website, which specializes in “lobbies”, or what is known as lobbying groups, stated that “the year-long contract with the Sonoran Public Group calls on the firm to provide business and personal advisory services as well as other services on an agreed-upon basis. It was signed by Sabrina Ben, a senior adviser to Haddad based in Paris”.
According to the same website, “Registered on the account are firm founder Robert Stryk and CEO Christian Bourge. Stryk was a West Coast adviser for Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign whose firm made a fortune in the president’s first term”.
“Neither Stryk nor Sonoran responded to messages about the nature of their work for Haddad, the founder and CEO of construction firm ETRHB (Road, Hydraulic and Building Works Company). Haddad is a former head of the country’s Business Leaders Forum whose company has handled over $2 billion in contracts since it was founded in 1997, according to Forbes.”, the website explained.
“Haddad’s world came crashing down after the ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in April 2019 following mass protests against his bid for a fifth term. He stands accused of benefiting from close ties to Bouteflika’s regime, including receiving $16 billion worth of bank loans for projects obtained by “mutual consent” rather than legal tenders”.
The correct explanation for Haddad’s step, by resorting to American pressure groups, is to try to portray his case as political retaliation against him, because of his political stances against the previous regime, and that his trial was not “fair”, while the truth on which everyone stood during his two trial sessions, the first, which is related to financing “secret” parties (financing Bouteflika’s campaign), and later the corruption files of his company, in which Ahmed Ouyahia, Abdelmalek Sellal, ministers and governors were pursued, showed the extent of the massive looting of public money, which amounted to more than DZD 21.100 billion, and the integrity of justice, which provided the opportunity for the accused and lawyers to defend him.
The other suspicious issue is the imaginary amount that Ali Haddad paid, which is $ 10 million (more than DZD 17 billion), in an attempt to survive on his own, which is a much larger amount than what people described as rich, and even the governments of countries, have contracted with this company.
For your information, the Sonoran Group has taken on suspicious and controversial tasks in the recent past, as it obtained from the Department of Interior in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the American administration’s statements about “lobbying” activities, over $ 5.4 million, but the Saudi Minister of Interior was expelled in May 2017, which helped the Robert Stryk firm take the money without providing the most basic services.
A report published by the American New York Times, on last May 18th, revealed that a group of prominent detainees and their allies planned to pressure Washington to release them by hiring a “lobby” that could communicate with US President Donald Trump.
The American newspaper said that, in recent weeks, allies of several detained Saudis have contacted lawyers and advisors in Washington to organize legal campaigns and public relations firms to pressure for an end to what they call “the kingdom’s political persecution”.
The same company also contracted with the government of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro to defend Caracas interests in America for $ 2.2 million, the same value of the contract offered by the African richest woman, widow of Angolan President Isabelle dos Santos to the company to whitewash her image as a bribe who plundered the country’s goods from the wealth of Angola during the days of her husband’s rule.
The only explanation for this “generosity” from Haddad, and the American company, is that the huge of funds of the Mafia that controlled the fate of millions of Algerians, were smuggled and are still moving abroad, and this raises the assumption that they can harm Algeria’s new interests, in any way.