The crackdown Wednesday coincided with continuing popular protests since Feb. 22 to claim radical changes and trial of figures who served under ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Ouyahia was sent to provisional prison, while former minister of public works and transport, Abdelghani Zaalane, was placed under judicial probation pending investigation.
The Algerian justice has accelerated the pace of prosecutions, given that a group of 12 former senior government officials are also due to be tried for violations, squandering of public funds, and corruption while they were serving on public posts.
This large-scale anti-corruption operation comes amidst popular protests denouncing the country’s poor governance and money laundering, demanding that the people involved be brought to justice.
High-ranking army officers and prominent politicians are behind bars, including Said Bouteflika, brother of ousted President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, two former intelligence chiefs, namely Mohamed Mediene and Athmane Tartag, as well as General Secretary of the Workers Party (left-wing opposition), Louisa Hanoune, who are charged by the military court with “attacking the authority of the army and conspiring against the authority of the state.”