Is there policing to investigate corruption and organised crime within the defence services and is there evidence of the effectiveness of this policing?
20a. Existence of policing function
Algeria score: 50/100
No policing function is exercised over the defence services to investigate corruption or organised crime.
There is a unit within the national police force that deals with organised crime and corruption, which may be authorised to work on issues in the defence sector.
There is a unit within the national police force that deals with organised crime and corruption in the defence services, or there is a unit within the military police with the same mandate.
There is some evidence that there is policing to investigate corruption and organized crimes within the defence services.
According to the Military Code of Justice, the military judicial police is responsible for detecting offences of military personnel (Art. 43, 1). The Code only broadly refers to crimes and from the Code, it is not clear if there is a unit within the military police that is charged with working on corruption and organized crime in the defence sector. According to newspaper reports the Military Judicial Police is responsible for the fight against terrorism as well as espionage and treason cases (2). However, Chérif Drif wrote that the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police has broad powers to investigate cases of misappropriation, embezzlement and corruption (3). According to a newspaper report, the military judiciary was involved in monitoring military officers accused of illicit enrichment (4).
1) Code de Justice Militaire, (2007), Title I “Military Judicial Police, Right to Arrests”, Chapter I “Military Judicial Police”, Section I “Powers of the Military Judicial Police”, Art. 43. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.joradp.dz/TRV/FJustM.pdf.
2) “Les domaines d’intervention de la Police judiciaire militaire révisés”, algerie1.com, January 16, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2018. https://www.algerie1.com/actualite/les-domaines-d-intervention-de-la-police-judiciaire-militaire-revises.
3) Chérif Dris. “Algérie politique 2015 : Mise à la retraite du général Médiene et restructuration du DRS. Des effets collatéraux du quatrième mandate”, Dossier: Profession journaliste, 15/2016. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://journals.openedition.org/anneemaghreb/2896#bodyftn12.
4) “Les généraux emprisonnés contestent la décision de la justice militaire,” October 21, 2018. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.algeriepatriotique.com/2018/10/21/les-generaux-emprisonnes-contestent-la-decision-de-la-justice-militaire/.
Algeria score: 25/100
These policing functions are subject to considerable and regular undue influence from top military officials or the executive.
These policing functions are nominally independent, but in practice their work or budgets can be interfered with by top military officials or the executive.
These policing functions operate independently of the bodies that they investigate, and their budget is ring-fenced.
According to Art. 44 of the Military Panel Code, the Military Judiciary Police falls under the authority of the Minister of Defence, which does not guarantee that the officers of the Military Judiciary Police can act independently (1). In 2019, the Military Judiciary Police was involved in the arrest of high-ranking regime members, including the brother of former president Bouteflika. According to one newspaper report the arrest was ordered by a Domestic Security Agency acting under the Defence Ministry (2). Since their work is secret, no evidence could be found on whether the Minister of Defence has actively influenced the work of the Military Judiciary Police.
1) Code de Justice Militaire, (2007), Title I “Military Judicial Police, Right to Arrests”, Chapter I “Military Judicial Police”, Section I “Powers of the Military Judicial Police”, Art. 44. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.joradp.dz/TRV/FJustM.pdf.
2) 2) “Said Bouteflika, Toufik et Tartag arreté,” May 4, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.capalgerie.dz/urgent-said-bouteflika-toufik-et-tartag-arretes/.
Algeria score: 25/100
There is a complete failure to investigate or prosecute, even in the face of clear evidence.
Cases are superficially investigated, or receive "show" hearings in which defendants are not punished.
Cases are investigated but not often prosecuted. There is clear undue influence in the decision making process, or it may be that only certain types of cases are prosecuted.
Cases are investigated or prosecuted through formal processes, but undue political influence is attempted, and sometimes effective at derailing prosecutions.
Cases are investigated or prosecuted through formal processes and without undue political influence.
It is difficult to find information that allows for the assessment of the effectiveness of the legal provisions. There is a case of five high-ranking military members reportedly accused of corruption in 2018. It is still pending which does not allow for an assessment to be made (1). No other examples of military personnel being prosecuted for bribery or corruption were found since 2016. Newspaper articles reporting on the case compared the five generals to General Beloucif who embezzled money from the Ministry of National Defence in the 1990s (2).
The question can therefore only be answered, if at all, by referring to cases involving civilians, for example, the former Minister of Energy, Chekib Kheli, was accused of being involved in a complex international money-laundering system. In a court case in Italy, it was exposed that he had received bribes of nearly 200 million euros. Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia announced in November 2017, that the case would be closed (3) indicating that an obvious case had not been prosecuted. However, there have been jail sentences in corruption cases in connection to the state hydrocarbon company Sonatrach in 2016 (4). Generally, Freedom House notes that the judiciary is vulnerable to government pressure. For example, the president appoints all judges and prosecutors (5).
1) “En Algérie, cinq anciens hauts responsables de l’armée incarcérés”, Le Monde, October 15, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/10/15/en-algerie-cinq-anciens-hauts-responsables-de-l-armee-incarceres_5369499_3212.html.
2) Salim Mesbah. “Armée et corruption: la fin de l’impunité? tsa-algerie.com, October 14, 2018. Accessed October 18 2018. https://www.tsa-algerie.com/armee-et-corruption-la-fin-de-limpunite/.
3) Lakhdar Benchiba. “These Corruption Cases That Are Splashing Algerian Power”, orientxxi.info, March 13, 2018. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://orientxxi.info/magazine/these-corruption-cases-that-are-splashing-algerian-power,2335.
4) “Jail sentences handed down in Sonatrach corruption case”, EIU, February 16, 2016. Accessed November 12, 2018. http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=1933945577&Country=Algeria&topic=Economy&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Policy+trends&u=1&pid=1557375339&oid=1557375339&uid=1.
5) Report Algeria 2018, Freedom House. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/algeria.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||20a. Existence of policing function||20b. Independence||20c. Effectiveness|
|Algeria||50 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Angola||50 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Cameroon||50 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||50 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Egypt||50 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Ghana||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Kuwait||50 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Lebanon||100 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Mali||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Morocco||25 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Niger||50 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Nigeria||75 / 100||NEI||50 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Palestine||25 / 100||0 / 100||NEI|
|Qatar||50 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Tunisia||50 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||NA||NA|