By Abdel Razek Abdallah
ALGIERS (AA) – An Algerian military court on Wednesday sentenced the brother of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to 15 years in prison for plotting against the state.
Said Bouteflika, who had also served as president's adviser, was convicted of "undermining army's authority" and "conspiracy against the state's authority" during the trial that began in the town of Blida on Monday, a defense lawyer said.
The court also slapped former senior intelligence officials Mohamed Mediene and Athmane Tartag and Louisa Hanoune, head of the country's Workers' Party, with a 15-year jail term each on similar charges.
The court also sentenced former defense minister Khalid Nizar and his son to 20 years in prison in absentia in the same case. Both men had fled to Spain.
Wednesday’s verdicts are still subject to appeal.
Algeria has been in turmoil since Bouteflika stepped down on April 2 after 20 years in power, under pressure from mass protests demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.
On Sunday, Algeria's interim President Abdelkader Bensalah said the country will hold presidential election on Dec. 12.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara