Daily Trust

Boute­flika’s ‘se­cret daugh­ter’ gets 12 years in jail

- Crime · White-collar Crime · Algiers · Abdelaziz Bouteflika · Wahran

A busi­ness­woman who many be­lieved was the se­cret daugh­ter of for­mer Al­ge­rian Pres­i­dent Ab­delaziz Boute­flika has been sen­tenced to 12 years in prison for money laun­der­ing, in­flu­ence ped­dling, squan­der­ing pub­lic funds and il­le­gally trans­fer­ring money abroad.

Nachi­nachi Zoulikha, who goes by the name of Mme Maya, de­nied she ever told any­one she was Mr Boute­flika’s daugh­ter and talked in court about the special re­la­tion­ship her fa­ther had with the for­mer pres­i­dent.

How­ever, lo­cal news­pa­pers re­ported that Ms Zoulikha had ad­mit­ted re­ceiv­ing special treat­ment for her in­vest­ments thanks to the re­la­tion­ship she had with the for­mer pres­i­dent.

The ru­mours of her be­ing re­lated to the pres­i­dent came to a head when she al­legedly asked the gover­nor of the city of Oran for help with set­ting up a new su­per­mar­ket.

He was friends with Mr Boute­flika’s brother Said and, when talk­ing to Said, re­ferred to Ms Zoulikha-Chafika as Said’s niece.

Said de­nied the re­la­tion­ship and opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

When she was ar­rested in 2019, in­ves­ti­ga­tors seized cash worth nearly a mil­lion euro in Al­ge­rian cur­rency, 270,000 euros and $30,000, as well as 17kg of jew­ellery in ad­di­tion to var­i­ous false travel doc­u­ments hid­den in the walls of her house.

The court in the cap­i­tal Al­giers or­dered Ms Zoulikha to pay a fine of six mil­lion Al­ge­rian di­nars ($47,000; £36,000) and all her as­sets were seized.

Her two daugh­ters Imen and Farah were also jailed for five years each and fined three mil­lion Al­ge­rian di­nars.

For­mer cab­i­net min­is­ters Mo­hamed El Ghazi and Ab­del­ghani Zaalane and for­mer po­lice chief Ab­del­ghani El Hamel each re­ceived 10-year jail terms. Two busi­ness­men Be­laid Ab­del­ghani and Ben Aicha Miloud were sen­tenced to seven years and 10 years in jail re­spec­tively.

The de­fence lawyers said they will ap­peal against the sen­tence.

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