Algeria: Madame Maya convicted to 12 years in prison

Known as “Madame Maya”, the Algerian businesswoman, who passed herself off as the hidden daughter of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison.

 

An Algiers court also fined her six million dinars ($47,000) and ordered the confiscation of her properties, the official news agency APS said. It said Zoulikha Nachinache, widely known as Madame Maya, was found guilty of money laundering, in-fluence peddling, squandering public funds and illicit transfer of foreign currency abroad.

A court in Algiers also fined her six million dinars ($47,000) and ordered the confiscation of her properties and assets. It said she was found guilty of money laundering, influence peddling, squandering public funds and illicit transfer of foreign currency abroad.

“Madame Maya”, whose real name was Zoulikha Nachinache, was a very influential woman in Algeria for many years. An influence nurtured by the rumor that she was the daughter of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

 

During her trial, the defendant rather evoked a “fusional” friendship between her father, now deceased, and the former Head of State and admitted to having obtained advantages for her investment projects through him.

 

The local media reported she was at the head of a very large fortune. In July 2019, three months after the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, chased out by the street, a search is conducted at her home in a state residence in the upmarket suburbs of Algiers. The equivalent of 800,000 euros in dinars, as well as 270,000 euros, 30,000 dollars and 17 kilos of gold jewelry were seized.

 

Her conviction adds to the long list of personalities imprisoned for corruption since the departure of the former president a year and a half ago.

In the latest corruption case of the post-Bouteflika era, the Algiers court at the same time sentenced two ex-ministers, Mohamed Ghazi and Abdelghani Zaalane, as well as a former police chief, Abdelghani Hamel, to 10-year jail terms. Nachinache’s two daughters were also handed a five-year prison sentence.

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