Jailed Algerian ex-minister dies of coronavirus in prison
A former Algerian cabinet minister detained in a corruption case has died from the Covid-19 illness, a news website reported on Saturday, quoting his brother.
Ex-telecommunications minister Moussa Benhamadi, once close to ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, contracted the novel coronavirus earlier this month and died on Friday, said his brother Hocine Benhamadi. He was 67.
"He contracted the virus on July 4 and was only transferred to hospital in Algiers on July 13," the brother told the website of French-language daily Liberte.
Moussa Benhamadi had been held in pre-trial detention at El Harrach prison since September 2019 as part of an investigation into corruption involving the Algerian high-tech firm Condor Electronics.
Bouteflika, who was Algeria's longest-serving president, was forced to resign in April last year after losing the backing of the army amid massive street protests against his decision to seek a fifth term.
Following his departure, authorities launched a string of graft investigations into members of his entourage accused of abusing their power.
Benhamadi's brother and head of Condor Electronics Abderahmane Benhamadi is also detained in a corruption case.