On September 28th, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court will address the cassation appeal filed by defendants Said Bouteflika, Generals Tewfiq and Tartag, and the Secretary General of the Workers’ Party Louisa Hanoune, as the latter appealed against the ruling issued by the Appeals Council at the Military Court of Blida.
According to exclusive information “Echorouk” possesses, the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court that brought the file into the deliberations will decide on the legal points only and won’t discuss the facts, and it must either reject the appeal by cassation and the decision becomes final and thereby the ruling is kept final, or accept the appeal and cancel the decision Issued by the Military Appeals Board in Blida, and referring the file once again to another military court, as this is often done according to our sources notably to the Appeals Council of the Military Court of Constantine with a new composition.
On June 11, the Appeals Board of the Military Court in Blida examined the file of the four defendants, Said Bouteflika, Generals Tewfiq and Tartag and the Secretary General of the Workers’ Party Louisa Hanoune, who were facing the charges of felony of violating the authority of the Army and conspiring against the state’s authority, and as a result the military judge issued a sentence ranging between 3 and 15 years in prison against them on October 28, 2019.
The military justice system had charged the four defendants with “undermining the authority of the army” and “conspiracy against the authority of the state”, crimes for which they face five to fifteen years in prison, according to the code of military justice.
Apart from Saïd Bouteflika, the brother of the former President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the same charges were brought against the former head of the former Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS), General Mohamed Mediène, the former head of the Department of Surveillance and Security (DSS), Bachir Tartag, and the General Secretary of the Workers’ Party (PT).
The defense had admitted that Louisa Hanoune had attended a secret meeting with Said Bouteflika and Toufik on 27 March 2019.
As a reminder, on 5 May 2019, the military examining magistrate at the military court of Blida ordered the provisional detention of Athmane Tartag, Mohamed Mediène and Saïd Bouteflika, for “attacking the authority of the army” and “conspiracy against the authority of the state”, as stated by the military court of appeal of Blida.
It should be emphasized that article 284 of the code of military justice stipulates that ‘any person guilty of conspiracy with the aim of undermining the authority of the commander of a military formation, building or aircraft, or the discipline or safety of the formation, building or aircraft, shall be punished by criminal imprisonment from five (5) to ten (10) years’.
It also stipulates that “conspiracy exists as soon as the resolution to act is concerted and agreed upon between two or more individuals. The maximum sentence is applied to the most senior military officers and to the instigators of the said conspiracy”.
This article thus promises heavier penalties in cases where the alleged acts are proven to have taken place “if the conspiracy takes place in time of war, or in a state of siege or emergency, or in any circumstances that may endanger the safety of the formation, building or aircraft, or is intended to influence the decision of the military commander responsible, the guilty party shall be punished by death”.