More than two years after his brother fell from the presidency in April 2019, the source of Saïd Bouteflika’s wealth continues to fuel rumors and speculation.
On May 30, before a court in Algiers where he was tried in the case of the acquisition of equipment by businessman Ali Haddad for the launch of a television channel intended to promote the fifth mandate of his brother, Said denied links with colossal fortune that some attribute to him.
He swears that his real estate assets as well as his financial assets have been legally acquired.
Several apartments and 100,000 euros in accounts
The former special adviser to the presidency reveals that he owns a 249m2 apartment in the Ben Aknoun district, on the heights of Algiers. This property was acquired in 2012 as part of a real estate development.
Saïd Bouteflika also owns an apartment in the center of Algiers, which he inherited on July 26, 2010 following the death of his brother Mustapha who practiced the profession of doctor. He owns another apartment in El Biar which was acquired in 1985 as part of the transfer of a vacant property.
That’s all Saïd Bouteflika has, presented as an emperor. I have nothing to hide
Asked by the judge about other properties, including a car dealership, the former city councilor said he owned property in the capital that he inherited from his mother, Mansouriah Ghezlaoui, who died in July 2009. She would have him also bequeathed another piece of land, still in the heights of Algiers; another apartment; and various properties in the city of Tlemcen, where the Bouteflika family is from.
Said Bouteflika also details his bank assets, estimated at 10 million DZD ($68,590) and 36,000 euros ($38,582).
Asked by a magistrate to explain the origin of these funds, he explains that he had earned them legally as an academic and presidential adviser. A graduate in computer science, Said Bouteflika worked for 11 years as a teacher at the University of Algiers.
When his brother came to power in 1999, he was appointed special adviser to the presidency until his arrest in May 2019. During his tenure, he received a monthly salary of 300,000 DZD. The 36,000 represents his mission expenses as an adviser.
Asked by the judge about the three garages for vehicles he is suspected of owning, Saïd Bouteflika denies, saying on the contrary that he drives his own car. “If you have evidence, present it,” he told the judge. “That’s all Saïd Bouteflika has, who is presented as an emperor. I have nothing to hide.”
Although he rose to the rank of vice-president during his brother’s reign, Saïd reveals that he and his wife have been the subject of 52 commissions by the Algerian justice, without proof of irregularities or hidden wealth.
Acquitted by military justice in January 2021 of the heads of criminal association against the state and the army, Saïd Bouteflika is currently imprisoned in El Harrach prison awaiting trial for other cases including he is being prosecuted.
On May 24, the Algiers Court of Appeal acquitted him on charges of “abuse of power” and “interference in the work of justice” in the proceedings against the former minister of energy Chakib Khelil, currently on the run in the United States.