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Protesters unmoved by Algeria's first corruption trial

Algeria’s protesters view the current trial of figures linked to the former regime as a charade that some in power are using to settle personal accounts.

For the first time since the outbreak of Algeria’s protest movement in February, several former senior officials and prominent businessmen close to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his circle have been prosecuted on corruption charges and convicted to stiff prison sentences after a speedy four-day trial started Dec. 4.

The hearings marked a historic event, given that it is the first time since Algeria’s independence in 1962 that former heads of government have appeared before a court. Yet the credibility of the process, pushed by a ruling elite led by the military and largely regarded as illegitimate, has been challenged by many among the protesters, or Hirak, who consider it a charade.

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