Algeria’s ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia. File photo/ Reuters
Algeria’s ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia appeared in court as part of a corruption probe, private channel Ennahar TV reported on Tuesday.
He joined a list of powerful figures including the finance minister and several oligarchs to face judicial investigations since mass protests forced the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika this month.
There was no immediate comment from him or his lawyers. It is up to the court to decide whether there is enough evidence for him to face a formal charge and trial.
“Put Ouyahia in prison,” read a banner held up as tens of protesters gathered near the court.
On Monday, Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal - a former central bank governor who only got the job from Bouteflika last month - appeared at a court as part of an investigation into suspected misuse of public funds, state TV reported.
Former police chief Abdelghani Hamel - who was sacked last year by Bouteflika for undisclosed reasons - and his son also appeared in court in Tipaza, west of the capital, as part of an investigation into “illegal activities, influence peddling, misappropriation of land and abuse of office,” state TV said.
Protesters have taken to the streets since February, calling for the ousting of Bouteflika and the dismantling of the political elite that surrounded his 20-year rule.
Bouteflika resigned on April 2 under pressure from the army, but the protests have continued with calls for a handover to a new civilian-led government.
At least five tycoons, some of them close to Bouteflika, have been placed in custody accused of involvement in corruption scandals.
Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, became interim president after Bouteflika’s departure. Presidential elections are scheduled for July 4.
Algeria’s richest man Issad Rebrab has been detained in jail on the public prosecutor’s orders, state media reported on Tuesday a day after his arrest as part of a corruption probe.
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