Image courtesy of Krystian Olszanski/Flickr.

An Algerian criminal court sentenced six people to jail on Tuesday for a slew of corruption charges connected to contracts with state-owned Sonatrach.

The defendants were facing a variety of corruption charges ranging from embezzling public funds and money laundering to inflating the price of contracts and accepting bribes.

According to Reuters, former Sonatrach upstream vice-president Belkacem Boumediene was sentenced to five years in prison while former Sonatrach CEO Mohamed Meziane received a suspended five year sentence.

Boumediene’s lawyer told the AFP that his client intends to appeal the ruling.

Meziane was also fined two million dinars, or about US$18,600, the AFP said.

The court also handed down penalties against two of Meziane’s sons, sentencing Mohamed Reda Meziane to a six year prison term and giving Bachir Fawzi Meziane a five year sentence.

Mohamed Reda Meziane was also fined two million dinars, or about US$20,000, while Bachir Fawzi Meziane was fined one million dinars.

The court sentenced Meghaoui Hashemi, the former CEO of Credit Populaire d’Algerie, to five years in prison on charges of money laundering and also sentenced his son, Yazid Meghaoui, to a six year prison term, the AFP said.

Mohamed Reda al-Ismail, chief of the Algerian-German firm Contel Funkwerk, was given a six year prison sentence and his company was fined  four million dinars, or about US$38,000, Reuters said.

Contel Funkwerk has also been barred from bidding for contracts in Algeria for five years, the AFP added.

Saipem Contracting Algeria was also hit with a US$38,000 fine.

Saipem told the AFP that it will appeal the verdict and added that it “firmly believes no price inflation above market rates occurred.”


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