The former powerful boss of the UGTA (General Union of Algerian Workers) trade union, Abdelmadjid Sidi Saïd, has been hospitalized for ten days in the prison ward of the Mustapha hospital to treat chronic leukemia and corneal heart disease. Yesterday, the economic and financial center of the Algiers court Sidi M’hamed also had to, because of his absence in the box of the accused, postpone the hearing to October 31. Sidi Saïd’s defense gave the presiding judge and the prosecutor a copy of the medical report attesting to the deterioration in his state of health.
Algeria: what justice reproaches Abdelmadjid Sidi Saïd
The 73-year-old trade unionist, originally from Aïn el-Hammam, a town in the wilaya of Tizi Ouzou, should, barring further complications, leave the hospital at the end of week to join his cell, learns Young Africa from medical sources. “Next time, I will question him if necessary by Skype”, the magistrate is impatient.
All In, Mobilis, CNAS…
Sidi Saïd himself revealed in September 2018 that he was suffering from cancer, without specifying the nature, when he announced that he would not seek a new mandate at the head of the UGTA, the main trade union center. ally of power. He was also followed in Switzerland for heart disease. When he was in Algeria, he could also count on the care provided by Professor Rachid Bougherbal, former president of the National Commission for the Study of Transfer Files for Care Abroad.
Since his retirement in June 2019, Sidi Saïd had no longer made a public appearance and lived reclusively in his house in Saoula. He received few visits, says his entourage. Spared until then by the politico-judicial purge which targets the entourage of the former head of state Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the ex-boss of the UGTA, who also chaired the board of directors of the Caisse for a long time Nationale des Assurances Sociales (CNAS), was placed under arrest warrant on May 12, 2022 for “abuse of power, squandering of public funds, receipt of undue advantages and illegal enrichment”. He was to appear yesterday, after five months of investigation, before the judge in the company of his two sons, Djamil, imprisoned in El Harrach prison, and Hanafi, under judicial control, as well as four executives of the operator of Mobilis telephony, a subsidiary of the Algérie Télécom group.
Algeria: Abdelmadjid Sidi Saïd replaced at the head of the UGTA
The judiciary is interested in liens maintained by his third son, Ramine, owner of the advertising and communication agency All In, with Mobilis. Abdelmadjid Sidi Saïd would have intervened so that Ramine obtains a market of approximately 6 billion dinars (392,500 euros) relating to the production of a television program which has never been broadcast, which the justice system considers a “waste of public funds”.
Justice also investigated a supposed dubious transaction between one of the companies belonging to Sidi Saïd and a subsidiary of the mastodon Sonatrach active in Hassi Messaoud and Aïn Salah in the fields of engineering, logistics and equipment rental. , as well as the management of the workers’ contributions paid to the UGTA between 2017 and 2019. The procedure is based on reports provided by the investigators of the security services, who went through hundreds of files seized at the headquarters of the central union.
Algeria: Sellal, Ouyahia, Haddad… The descent into hell of the former caciques of the Bouteflika regime
If until the beginning of May 2022, Sidi Saïd had never been worried by justice, it is however not the first time that the ex-trade unionist, friend of the bosses of private companies close to the presidential circle, presents himself. before a judge. In 2007, he admitted having falsified minutes without the knowledge of the members of the board of directors of various national funds, allowing the deposit of several billion dinars in an account of Khalifa Bank. “I assume”, had then retorted Sidi Saïd to the presiding judge Fatiha Brahimi as he was certain that he would keep his status as a witness in this affair.