December 2, 2022

Tumbler Ridge News

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Former Sonatrac boss jailed for 15 years

Former CEO of Algerian oil conglomerate Sonatrac, Abdelmoumen Old GaturYesterday, Tuesday, November 15, an Algiers court sentenced him to 15 years in prison and a huge fine for corruption.

The latter acquired the Augusta refinery in southern Italy by an Algerian company in 2018. In the same case, his son Nasim Old Gedor was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 3 million dinars ($21,000).

The Judge of the Penal and Financial Pole of Sidi M’Hamad Court also confirmed the international arrest warrant issued against him earlier. Wife of Sonatrac’s ex-boss, Anissa UpadesalamWhen he fled abroad, he was sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of 2 million dinars (just over $14,000).

In the same case, former vice president of Ould Kaddour, Ahmed Mazighi, who spearheaded the plan to take over the refinery, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

At the start of the trial, the prosecution sought an 18-year prison sentence against him Abdelmoumen Old Gatur and ten years against Ahmad Masiki, specifically for “wasting public funds, abuse of office and conflict of interest”.

Acquisition and facts

As a reminder, in 2018, Sonatrach bought the Augusta refinery and various other infrastructure in the south of Italy from ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Italy for $720 million. But the final cost of the transaction was $2.1 billion for Sonatrac, as the company spent $916 million to acquire oil stored at the refinery and significant additional sums for work. Reconstruction of this infrastructure since 1950.

After the fall of Bouteflika’s regime in 2019, Abdelmooumen Ould Katour was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in 2021 as a refugee in France. He was extradited to Algeria in August of the same year in execution of an international arrest warrant issued against him by the Algerian courts.