The bank account for financing Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s campaign for the 5th term bid, which faced a large popular rejection, brought its first victims down, as the businessman, vice chairman of the heads of institutions’ forum, was arrested and detained in Algiers Harrache prison in the early hours of Friday, and he faced a file of investigations with a series of questions about the bank account which was allocated for financing the electoral campaign of the resigning President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The bank account that recorded “suspicious” withdrawals that reached DZD 8 billion for unknown persons, at a time when the bank’s agency, where the campaign’s account was opened, refused to settle the requests of businessmen who tried to recover their deposited funds.
Informed sources told Echorouk that the judicial file of a businessman Ali Haddad, who is also a former vice-chairman of the forum of heads of institutions, earlier included important questions about the bank account that was allocated to finance the electoral campaign of the resigning president under popular pressure and rejection of the fifth term.
The same sources added that the investigation with the businessman on the campaign’s funds that were thwarted was dictated by the direct relationship of the man with the operations of supplying and equipping all the offices that directorate of the campaign, which was formed in the previous years early and distributed the tasks early.
“The bank account, which was opened at the level of the Algerian People’s Loan Agency in Algiers district of Chaabani in the Valley of Hydra , which is the second financial account that is opened for this purpose after that which was resorted to in the presidency of 2014 after the intensification of the conflict and the competition about who is responsible for disbursing the electoral campaign’s funds that were collected in a chaotic way, and through cash. The account that recorded the transactions of placing money by a group of businessmen made him count DZD 20 billion before the process of nominating the resigning president legally by the Constitutional Council”, the sources explained.
“The judge of the investigation in the court of Abbane Ramdane asked a series of questions about the sources of funding for this account and depositors, and why was the Algerian People’s Loan Agency selected in the establishment of Chaabani in the valley of Hydar specifically, and who was the bankrupt or direct responsible for this account?”.
Echorouk sources indicate that the file of the canceled campaign’s funds and the financial account, which defined suspicious and unjustified withdrawals, according to sources from within the agency where the localization of the account, will be the subject of a stand-alone file and independent of the other judicial files under investigation in the financial and administrative corruption charges that hit the highest records in recent years, and which was planned tightly by the corrupt “Mafia” or gang which divided roles among them according to the first results of the investigations that merged with the first two ministers, Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sallal, and ministers within their governments and businessmen who benefited from privileges and influence by decision-makers in who are now detained in Algiers Harrache prison.
Bank sources confirm that the bank account, which “embraced” DZD 20 billion from subscriptions and contributions of members of the gang, noticed unjustified withdrawals for unknown persons at the limit of 80 billion centimes. These withdrawals continued until the end of April, after Bouteflika submitted his resignation. Our sources go to the conclusion that the subject of these withdrawals was the substance of official correspondence by the Algerian People’s Loan Agency in the establishment of Chaabani in Hydra Valley to the General Directorate of the Bank.
Echorouk sources wondered about the withdrawals and the extent of their legality as the alleged campaign managers are the two men who gave instructions for withdrawing money and who are solely responsible for the bank account, and it comes to Bouteflika’s campaign manager, who started in 2009, respectively, Abdelmalek Sallal, who has stepped down from the campaign’s directorate on the second Friday of the popular protests, while the second man is the former Minister of Public Works and who succeeded Sallal at the head of the electoral campaign’s directorate, Abdelghani Zaalane, who was tried on several corruption cases, which made him the subject of judicial review twice.
The same sources reveal that businessmen who contributed to the campaign’s financial account, led by the businessman, who is detained in Algiers Harrache prison, Ali Haddad, with a contribution of DZD 3 billion, tried to recover their money after the popular movement blew up Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth term. Among them was another businessman, who contributed with DZD 2.5 billion for the campaign, but his request was rejected by the Agency for illegality.
They asserted that the list of deposits within the bank account includes the contribution of another businessman by DZD 2 billion and the third-largest contribution by a businessman worth DZD 1.5 billion and other businessmen who searched influence but failed to reach that.