Algeria: President and Deputy General of the Supreme Court both dismissed

Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (C) speaks beside Algerian Justice minister Tayeb Belaiz (3R) at the supreme court in Algiers. Algeria

Algeria’s interim president Abdelkader Bensalah dismissed the President of the Supreme Court, Slimane Boudi, and Deputy General, Ben Abid Al-Wardi, simultaneously, Monday.

Algerian state television reported that Bensalah appointed Abdul Rashid Tebbi as Head of the Supreme Court, replacing Boudi, who was in office since 2013.

Abdel Rahim Majid was appointed as the Deputy General of the Supreme Court, replacing Al-Wardi, who was appointed in 2014.

The changes in the judiciary branch included the termination of Fatiha Boukarsa’s duties who is the head of the Tipaza district court (west of the Algerian capital), and the appointment of Ghassemi Djamel as head of the Algiers district Court, replacing Slimane Brahmi who was appointed justice minister at the end of last March.

The recent changes also included the termination of the employment of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice, Tayeb bin Hashem, and the appointment of Hamdan Abdul Qadir as his successor.

Boudjemaa Ait Aoudia, head of the human resources department at the Ministry of Justice was replaced by Abdelmajid Bittam.

These decisions coincided with a campaign of arrests, investigations and trials of former officials and businessmen associated with former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1999-2019), including former prime ministers and ministers.

Algerian laws provide that senior officials, including ministers and governors, have a “judicial right-privilege” so that they can only be tried in the Supreme Court, by specially appointed judges.

On Sunday, the Public Prosecution referred the files of former Prime Ministers Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, eight former ministers, and two former governors to the Supreme Court on charges of corruption.

Algeria has been undergoing rapid changes since Bouteflika, 82, was forced to resign on 2 April following the outbreak of sweeping popular protests.

Protests are continuing amid the political blockage taking place in Algeria, after the expiration of legal deadlines for holding the presidential elections, scheduled for July 4, without being able to nominate candidates, as the gap between Algeria’s political class and peaceful protesters has been widening since Bouteflika left office.

The protesters demanded the departure of interim president Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, considering them as symbols of Bouteflika’s regime while calling for the formation of an independent mechanism to oversee the elections.

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