He is Bouteflika’s third former prime minister behind bars. Noureddine Bedoui was placed under a warrant of committal on Tuesday August 23 by a judge of the Court of Algiers for acts of alleged corruption. Head of the executive between March 2019 and December 2019, Bedoui thus joins the two former Prime Ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, who are serving several prison sentences for affaires corruption and abuse of office.
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Noureddine Bedoui is being prosecuted for “abuse of office” and “wasting public funds” in the context of the case related to the management of the Constantine demonstration, capital of Arab culture, which took place in 2015, at the when he was wali (prefect) of this eastern city. Organized with great fanfare under the era of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, this event cost the public treasury a whopping $74 million.
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According to the investigation by the national gendarmerie, several projects linked to this demonstration, in particular the international airport Mohamed-Boudiaf, the giant bridge Transrhumel Salah-Bey, as well as the Agency of the National Bank of Algeria (BNA), would have led to cases of corruption and squandering. The former Minister of Health and ex-prefect of Constantine between 2005 and 2010 is also prosecuted in this case.
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Reputed to be close to the former presidential clan, whose main figures are languishing in prison, Noureddine Bedoui had experienced a meteoric rise from 2015, notably occupying the functions of Minister of the Interior. Faithful to Saïd Bouteflika, the brother of the late ex-president, Bedoui became Prime Minister in March 2019 shortly before the president’s resignation under pressure from Hirak.
Maintained in his post despite a very strong unpopularity, Bedoui tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election of December 2019 by favoring the candidacy of former minister Azzedine Mihoubi to the detriment of that of Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Discarded as soon as the latter was elected, Noureddine Bedoui was on borrowed time while waiting for justice to summon him, like many ministers and oligarchs of the old régime.