Algerian ex-PM admits selling gold bars in black market

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Algiers

Former Algerian premier Ahmed Ouyahia, on trial for corruption, admitted Saturday to receiving gold bars from Gulf donors then selling them on the black market, the official APS news agency reported.
Ouyahia and fellow ex-prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal are accused of covertly financing the 2019 re-election bid of then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned shortly afterwards amid mass anti-government protests.
Their retrial opened Saturday after the supreme court in November annulled their earlier convictions following an appeal, APS said. Both had served under former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Several former ministers and other well-known figures are also on trial over the same affair, APS said. Ouyahia was questioned Saturday over the source of assets in his bank accounts, totalling over $5 million.
He said some had come from black market sales “of gold bars, which he received as a gift, in his capacity as prime minister, from leaders of Gulf countries,” APS added.
The 60 gold bars were estimated to be valued at some $2.5 million.—AFP