Algeria tourism minister faces corruption investigation

Algeria’s Minister of Tourism and Craft Industry Abdelkader Benmessaoud yesterday appeared before the Supreme Court of Algiers on corruption charges.

Judicial sources said Benmessaoud answered questions regarding charges brought against businessman Mohieldin Tahgout and his associates involving senior officials.

The Public Prosecution said in an earlier statement that the case involves current and former ministers as well as senior officials including former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia.

In late May it was revealed that the Algerian judiciary is investigating about 50 cases of corruption, in which ministers and former senior officials affiliated to the regime of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika are suspected to be involved.

READ: Algeria holds former head of ruling party in custody on charges of corruption

A month later, the Public Prosecution Service announced the referral of a number of current and former officials, including ministers, to the Supreme Court to investigate corruption charges relating to facilities that have allegedly been offered to businessman Mahieddine Tahkout.

Algeria launched investigations into Bouteflika-era officials, leading to the temporary detention of former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, as well as other ministers and businesspersons affiliated to the ousted president.