The jail terms are the first of a string of high-profile corruption trials launched after longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in the face of mass protests in April. Protests against the Algeria government have continued.
Election posters have been vandalised by replacing the faces of candidates with those of people detained by the government.
Demonstrators converged on Algiers in the thousands for a massive anti-government rally called to coincide with official celebrations of the anniversary of the war that won Algeria's independence from France.
With Algeria and Sudan ousting longstanding leaders, ongoing unrest in the Gaza Strip and protests in both Iraq and Lebanon, there is a feeling that change could once again be sweeping across the region.
Removing military control over Algeria's politics is a lengthy process that will not be ended by protests or elections.
The so-called Arab Spring was a movement that spread within Arab countries in the Middle East and Africa with the hope of democratic rule in the region, which still hasn’t recovered fully and there is much work to be done to achieve democracy.
Said Bouteflika, who is seen as the real power behind his brother Abdelaziz 's two-decade rule, was charged with "undermining the authority of the army" and "conspiring" to bring about regime change.
Announcement of polls by interim President Abdelkader Bensalah comes after army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah, seen as Algeria's strongman since the fall of former leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, insisted that polls be held by the end of 2019.
As protests enter their seventh month, Algerians continue to demonstrate for change, justice and accountability. Whether they will receive it is another question.
The Algerian football team has become the pride of a nation in need of good news following five months of weekly protests prompted by former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika planning to run for a fifth term.
Demonstrators gather in capital Algiers amid a wave of anti-corruption investigations launched by the army after protests ended the rule of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Ahmed Ouyahia appeared in court as part of anti-graft investigations which have also swept up other key ministers who once formed part of the ‘deep state’ that ruled Algeria from independence in 1962.
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