Corso flour mills case: trial of former minister Djamila Tamazirt begins

The financial and economic criminal court of Sidi M’hamed (Algiers) heard, on Thursday, the defendants in the Corso flour mills affair, prosecuted for corruption, headed by the former Industry Minister, Djamila Tamazirt.

The trial began with the hearing of the Minister, former Director General (DG) of the agri-food complex of Corso (Boumerdes), on the circumstances of the conclusion of a partnership contract between the Amor Benamor Group and the flour mill of Corso (Erriad Algiers), as well as on the procedures related to the expertise on the equipment, the reasons for its dismantling as well as the determination of its financial value and the buyers.

The accused Tamazirt, prosecuted for charges related to the dilapidation of public funds and the granting of undue privileges, said that ‘the decision to conclude this partnership had come in application of a correspondence from the Prime Minister at the time (Abdelmalek Sellal)’, noting that she ‘had not interfered in the work of the commissions preparing the expertise, responsible for financial evaluation, the state of equipment of the unit of Corso and the definition of its financial value.

The accused also denied “interfering in the decision to dismantle the equipment”, in that “the sale of this equipment was done for the benefit of the subsidiaries of the complex belonging to the public milling establishment throughout the country, the sale having been done on behalf of the public establishments”, she said.

“Dating from the 1980s, the equipment was outdated and no longer met the new standards of the pasta production line,” she explained.

In addition, the judge heard the head of the auction commission for the equipment of the Corso pasta unit.

The accused stated that ‘the sale of the equipment was carried out in packages, with one package destined for the flour mills of Setif and Constantine, in accordance with the instructions he had received from Tamazirt, and following which the procedures were carried out in accordance with the law’, and that ‘he did not participate in all of the packages of the sale because he had retired’.

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