An Algerian court has sentenced Mohamed Meziane, the former chief executive officer of Algeria’s state-run energy company Sonatrach, to a two year prison term (including one suspended) for embezzlement of public funds. Mr. Meziane was also given a fine that was the equivalent to $7,000.
Abdelhafid Feghouli, who succeeded Mr. Mezaine on an interim basis, was sentenced to a one year in jail (eight months were suspended) and was fined the equivalent of $3,000 for similar offences. Three other executives who were also connected with the company were also jailed.
The charges were in relation to consultant and security contracts being awarded to multinational companies directly instead of as prescribed by law, through bid rounds. Sonatrach controls the energy sector in Algeria, which is a an OPEC member and the world’s eighth biggest crude oil exporter.