• Former Minister of Energy and Mines, Chakib Khalil who fled from justice is pursued at the level of investigation chambers of the National Pole Court specialized in combating financial and economic crime, on 8 corruption cases in which he will face heavy charges leading to up to 20 years imprisonment.
• In details in the possession of “Echorouk”, the Dean of Investigative Judges of the First Chamber of the Financial and Economic Pole is investigating the largest hydrocarbons complex in Algeria, which is “Sonatrach”, in two different parts related to the Canadian company “SNC-Lavalin” specialized in major engineering facilities, and “Saipem”, which Mohamed Meziane, the former director general of the Sonatrach group, and the former Minister of Energy, a fugitive from justice, Chakib Khalil, his wife Arafat and his two sons, in addition to Noureddine Bouterfa, the former Minister of Energy and Mines, as well as Farid Bedjaoui, along with more than 50 other defendants in the two cases, are being pursued by justice.
• The case will therefore be retried on 21 January, whereas the Supreme Court had ordered the case to be reopened in June 2019.
This new judicial investigation is still not complete. The magistrate adviser had twice summoned Amar Ghoul, before he did the same for Mohamed Bedjaoui and Chakib Khalil, former Minister of Energy (also cited).
The Supreme Court conveyed all these files, including that of the east-west motorway, to the financial centre which, to date, has not yet begun hearings. The other important case is that of Sonatrach, which returns for the second time, five years after the last appeal trial, held on 2 February 2016. It is scheduled to be retried on 17 February 2021 by the court in Algiers.
As for the East-West highway, the Supreme Court had ordered its reopening on 17 July 2019 and the investigating magistrates had on their list of personalities to be heard: Chakib Khelil, former Minister of Energy (abroad), Mohamed Meziane, former CEO of Sonatrach, and Farid Bedjaoui. But the procedures have taken time and the file has been transmitted to the financial pole of Sidi M’hamed, which should, in the coming weeks, resume the investigation.
A large part of this investigation had been conducted, in the context of the Sonatrach 2 corruption case, for which seven international arrest warrants were issued, among others, against Chakib Khalil, his wife and three children, Réda Hamech, his trusted man and chief of staff of the CEO of Sonatrach, Farid Bedjaoui, his financial adviser. The trial scheduled for 17 February next concerns about fifteen people and four foreign companies.
The latest verdict reported a sentence of 6 years of criminal imprisonment against the chairman of the board of directors of the Algerian-German group Contel Funkwerk, Ismail Mohamed Reda Djaafar and against Meziane Mohamed Reda, son of the former CEO of Sonatrach, who was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 5 years.
Other sentences were imposed: 6 years in prison on Meghaoui Yazid, 5 years of criminal imprisonment on his father Meghaoui Hachemi, in Belkacem Boumedienne, in charge of upstream activities at Sonatrach, and on Bachir Fawzi Meziane (son of the CEO).
The companies Funkwerk Plettac (German), Contel Algérie, the German-Algerian group Contel Funkwerk and the Italian group Saipem Contracting Algeria had been fined by justice.