ALGIERS, 10 January 2021 – Algeria’s former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has admitted to receiving gold bars from Gulf donors and selling them in the black market.
It is the first admission by Ouyahia, who is facing trial on corruption charges, that some of the corruption charges he faced are founded in fact.
At the start of his retrial on Saturday, the former prime minister also admitted that he failed to report the revenue from the sale of the gold bars on his taxes.
Last November, the country’s Supreme Court annulled his earlier conviction following an appeal.
Several former ministers and another former prime minister are on trial over the same affair.
The trial seeks clarification from the former premier on the sources of dunds in his bank accounts, estimated at more than $5 million.
Ouyahia told the court that he received gold bars as gifts from some leaders of Gulf countries while serving as prime minister of Algeria.
He reportedly sold 60 gold bars valued at about $2.5 million.
The former prime minister said he had initially kept quiet about the gold bars in order not to “undermine the relations between Algeria and certain friendly countries”.
Ouyahia was Algeria’s prime minister between 1995 and 2019.