Algeria’s former counterespionage chief to face trial

Algeria’s ex-counterespionage chief faces unusual trial before military tribunal after being accused of "destruction of documents"

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

General Hassan is accused of "destroying documents and disobeying military instructions"

Algeria’s long-time counterespionage head who assisted to lead the country’s fight against militants is facing a trial on Thursday before a military tribunal.  

The general was one of several high-ranked officers who was forced to leave security services over the past two years.

The Algerian media has reported that the general was charged of arms possession and mobilising an armed group.

Abdelkader Ait Ouarabi, popularly known as Gen. Hassan, faced trial on Thursday in Oran on accusation of "destruction of documents" and "breach of orders." However the evident for the allegations have not been settle yet.

Although, the tribunal did not permit onlookers and reporters at the opening of the trial Thursday, allowing only the family and defence lawyers inside the tribunal.    

Hassan's lawyer Mokrane Ait Larbi, said "Nothing justifies closed doors," and sought for a public trial during an interview with the Associated Press.       

The defense lawyer is also looking for testimony from Hassan’s top Gen. Mohamed Mediene, a famous intelligence head known to Algerians as “Toufik” who was suspended in September.   

Hassan was forced to retire in 2013, later he was arrested in August and taken before a military Judge in Blida, south of Algiers, the following day. Last month, his case was sent to the tribunal in Oran.  

Hassan was among the first military officers to have faced trial in Algeria who leaded the country’s fight against militants for two decades which erupted after the army ruled out 1991 legislative elections to thwart a victory by an Islamic political party which resulted in a violence killing an about 200,000 people.   

TRTWorld and agencies