Algeria: Billionaire Brothers Placed in Temporary Custody


Three billionaire brothers, Reda, Abdelkader, and Tarek Kouninef, have been arrested and placed in temporary custody by a judge in Algiers as part of an anti-corruption drive. They were arrested together with Algeria's wealthiest businessman, Issad Rebrab, founder and chairman of Cevital, Algeria's biggest privately held company. Karim Kouninef, a fourth brother, was also detained but has since been released.

The decision to extend the pre-trial detention of the Kouninef brothers, who are business tycoons that have amassed a fortune through preferential access to lucrative state contracts, follows a pledge last week by army chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah to prosecute members of the ruling elite accused of corruption.

An Algerian court has also summoned former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal, two close associates of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in an investigation into suspected misuse of public money.

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Al Jazeera