On Saturday, the Algerian Court of Appeal began the trial of “Madame Maya,” who claimed to be the “secret daughter” of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
On October 14, the Chicago court in the western suburbs of the capital Algiers had sentenced Zulekha-Shafika Nishanache to 12 years in prison and a fine of 6 million dinars (about 40,000 euros) and the confiscation of all her property.
The businesswoman at the time convicted this woman, who had enjoyed great influence under the former president, on several charges including “money laundering,” “exploiting influence,” “granting undue privileges,” “squandering public money,” and “inciting public agents to grant Unserved concessions “and” illegal transfer of hard currency abroad. ”
Nachnach, known in the media as “Madame Maya,” gained influence among businessmen and opened senior officials’ doors in Algeria thanks to a rumor published by close to Bouteflika that she is his illegitimate daughter.
However, the protest movement that toppled the former president in April 2019 also removed this woman’s protection, who dragged with her to court senior former officials.
Madame Maya’s problems began in July 2019, 3 months after Bouteflika’s resignation, when security services seized huge funds in her home, west of the capital, where ministers and senior officials live in Algeria.
On that day, investigators seized more than one million euros in Algerian dinars and foreign currencies and 17 kilograms of jewelry.
A court of the first instance had sentenced my daughter, “Madame Maya,” to five years in prison for each of them and the confiscation of their properties.
Two former ministers, Mohamed Ghazi and Abdelghani Zealand, and the former Director-General of National Security Abdelghani Hamel, were also sentenced to 10 years in prison in another corruption case in which close associates of Bouteflika were involved.
Once Bouteflika’s rule ended, all those close to him became the target of prosecutions in corruption cases, among them his brother and advisor Saeed, former prime ministers and ministers and business people who took advantage of their proximity to the presidency to obtain undue privileges.