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Algerian Ex-PM Arrested for Alleged Graft

Abdel Malek Sellal, a two-time prime minister of Algeria described as one of those closest to sacked president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, is under arrest for alleged corruption, state television reported. The report of Sellal’s arrest mentioned the misuse of public funds. Sellal served as prime minister from 2012 to 2014, and again from 2014 to 2017. He is also said to have been a campaign manager for Bouteflika, who suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013 and was rarely seen in public again. When the 82-year-old leader declared he would seek a fifth term as president earlier this year, it brought citizens into the streets in a series of broadening demonstrations that eventually convinced the military to topple him. The protests continue, however, as rank and file Algerians seek the sacking of the entire ruling elite, leading authorities to arrest numerous Bouteflika cronies, including his brother and several close associates on charges ranging from corruption to plotting against the state in the post-Bouteflika era.