Brother of Algeria’s Bouteflika appears in court, refuses to testify

ALGIERS (AFP) – The jailed brother and key aide of former Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika appeared in court last Saturday as a witness in a graft trial involving millions of dollars, but refused to respond to questions.

Said Bouteflika was seen as the real power behind the throne after the debilitating 2013 stroke suffered by his brother, who quit office in April following weeks of mass protests against his bid for a fifth term.

The former regime insider had been summoned as a witness in the trial of businessmen and former officials on corruption charges involving millions of dollars in funding for his brother’s aborted campaign.

Said was sentenced in September, along with several other high-level regime officials, to 15 years in jail for “conspiring” against the state and undermining the authority of the army.

In court last Saturday, he gave his name but refused to respond to questions by the judge or a prosecutor.