The Disappearance of DZD 31.5 B: Court Postpones the Trial of Former Corrupt Officials
The Economic and Financial Criminal Court postponed, on Wednesday, the trial of the former Prime Minister Noureddine Badoui, the former Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, Abdelmalek Boudiaf, several governors of the republic, and more than 40 defendants, who are followed up on the corruption file related to the project to complete the new terminal of Mohamed Boudiaf Airport in Constantine.
The postponement came at the request of the defence committee of a number of the defendants, due to their presence in the hospital on the one hand, and on the other hand, the establishment of new lawyers in the file, and their request for an additional period so that they can have a good review of the merits of the file.
After the non-arrested and arrested defendants entered the courtroom, led by former Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui and former Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Abdelmalek Boudiaf, the judge of the third branch of the Economic and Financial Pole announced the opening of the session and called on all parties involved in the file, including defendants, witnesses and established civil parties, so that the defence team submitted new applications for the establishment. In contrast, the defence committee of two defendants demanded a postponement, due to the health problems of their clients and their transfer quickly to Mustapha Pasha Hospital, so the judge decided to postpone the trial to May 31.
Bedoui and Boudiaf are followed up in the corruption file, in their capacity as former governors of Constantine Wilaya (eastern Algeria), related to awarding the deal for the completion of the air terminal of Mohamed Boudiaf Airport in Constantine, in crooked ways and in violation of the law of public procurement, which caused the loss of more than DZD 30 billion, with a delay in delivery of 11 years instead of 48 months as stipulated in the contract requirements.
The defendants in this corruption file are followed up with heavy charges, which are included in the Penal Code and the Anti-Corruption and Prevention Law 06/01, related to granting and obtaining unjustified privileges in the field of public procurement, abuse of office, and clear negligence leading to the loss of public funds.
This file, which was postponed by the judge of the third branch of the economic and financial penal pole, is considered the second corruption file in which Bedoui is being pursued, after he was convicted on December 1, 2022, of 10 years in prison, accompanied by 10 other ministers, including the former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, and ministers in various sectors, such as Amar Ghoul, Hocine Nessib, Arezki Berraki, Houda-Imane Faraoun and the former general manager of Mohamed Loukal.
This file is also considered the second in which Abdelmalek Boudiaf is being pursued, after he was convicted by the Economic and Financial Criminal Court, on April 4, with a penalty of 7 years in prison and a fine of DZD 4 million, with the confiscation of all movable property and bank accounts that were seized.