Algeria's richest man walks free on time served after receiving 6-month sentence

accreditation
Algerian entrepreneur and CEO of Cevital industrial group Issad Rebrab. (Ryad Kramdi, AFP)
Algerian entrepreneur and CEO of Cevital industrial group Issad Rebrab. (Ryad Kramdi, AFP)

Algiers – Algeria's richest man Issad Rebrab walked free on time served early on Wednesday after a court sentenced him to six months for tax, banking and customs offences.

Prosecutors had sought a one-year prison sentence for the 74-year-old head of Algeria's biggest privately owned conglomerate Cevital, who was one of several tycoons arrested in April as part of a sweeping corruption investigation.

The probe followed the resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.

Rebrab had already spent eight months in custody awaiting trial, more than his sentence, so he was released by the court.

He was fined 1.383 billion dinars (more than $11.6m). Cevital subsidiary Evcon was fined 2.766 billion dinars.

'Astonished'

Jordan-based Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, which was also prosecuted, was fined 3.169 billion dinars.

They were convicted of breaking laws on foreign exchange and fund transfers, as well as forgery and false custom declarations.

Forbes magazine lists Rebrab as Algeria's richest man and the sixth-wealthiest in Africa, with a net worth of $3.9bn in 2019.

Cevital employs 18 000 people, produces electronics, steel and food, and in recent years it has acquired businesses in France.

While his businesses flourished under Bouteflika's rule, Rebrab had backed the protests that ultimately forced the president to resign in April.

His company has said it was "astonished" by his arrest.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
72% - 7847 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
28% - 3084 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.95
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
21.22
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
18.02
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.31
+0.8%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.9%
Gold
1,767.33
-0.8%
Silver
22.39
+0.3%
Palladium
1,780.47
+2.0%
Platinum
941.12
+0.6%
Brent Crude
68.87
-0.5%
Top 40
64,555
-0.4%
All Share
71,021
-0.3%
Resource 10
67,557
-0.5%
Industrial 25
93,673
-0.4%
Financial 15
13,890
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE