Ousted Algeria president's 'secret child' jailed for graft

Ousted Algeria president's 'secret child' jailed for graft
An Algerian businesswoman who is allegedly the daughter of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was sentenced to 12 years in prison over corruption charges.
2 min read
The prosecuted Algerian businesswoman is allegedly the illegitimate child of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika [Getty]

A prominent Algerian businesswoman, allegedly an illegitimate child of ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison after being convicted of corruption.

An Algiers court also fined her six million dinars ($47,000) and ordered the confiscation of her properties, the official news agency APS said.

It said Zoulikha Nachinache, widely known as Madame Maya, was found guilty of money laundering, influence peddling, squandering public funds and illicit transfer of foreign currency abroad.

In the latest corruption case of the post-Bouteflika era, the court at the same time sentenced two ex-ministers, Mohamed Ghazi and Abdelghani Zaalane, as well as a former police chief, Abdelghani Hamel, to 10-year jail terms.

Nachinache's two daughters were also jailed for five years.

The businesswoman argued in court that she was close to Bouteflika through her father who had been a friend of the president since before Bouteflika took office in 1999.

Her downfall came in July 2019, barely three months after Bouteflika's ouster, when security services found a treasure trove during a search of her home in an upscale suburb of Algiers.

Investigators seized some $900,000 in Algerian dinars, 270,000 euros ($317,000), $30,000 dollars and 17 kilos (34 pounds) of gold jewellery.

Several ministers, senior government officials and businessmen have been convicted of corruption, including the elderly ex-president's brother, Said Bouteflika, since he resigned in April 2019 under pressure from mass street protests against his two-decade-long rule.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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