Brother of Algeria’s ex-president placed in custody by military judge

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An Algerian military judge has placed the youngest brother of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and two former intelligence chiefs in custody, state TV reported, joining a string of businessmen and officials under investigation over corruption ahead of a presidential election.

Said Bouteflika and the two generals, Athmane Tartag and Mohamed Mediene, were arrested on Saturday, state TV said on Sunday.

The three are under investigation over “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority,” it said, quoting a statement from the prosecutor at the military court of Blida, south of Algiers.

It did not elaborate on the allegations but the news that the three have been detained may go some way to satisfying protesters in Algeria who have demanded a broad overhaul of the political system since President Bouteflika stepped down last month.

TV footage showed the defendants entering the court near a military base, 40 km from Algiers.

Said Bouteflika, who served as a top adviser to the presidency, acted as Algeria’s de facto ruler after his brother suffered a stroke in 2013 that left him in a wheelchair.

Mediene had been intelligence chief for 25 years until his dismissal by Bouteflika in 2015.

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