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France Arrests Algerian Saïd Ben Sedira for Fraud, Espionage

On Friday, French police arrested Saïd Ben Sdira–a stalwart of the Algerian regime—and detained him at the Nanterre prison, for “fraud, swindling, extortion and illegal intelligence activities” on French soil, according to Barlaman sources.

Ben Sdira was frequently accused of defaming exiled Algerian opponents, such as blogger “Amir DZ” (actual name Amir Boukhors), residing in France since 2016, and is wanted by Algiers with nine international arrest warrants.

In his videos, he denounced critics by accusing them of “harboring and financing a terrorist group targeting state security and national unity,” and “money laundering as part of a criminal gang,” both of which are all-encompassing (i.e., vague) charges typically leveled by Algerian intelligence.

Ben Sdira is said to be linked to former Algerian Defense Minister Khaled Nezzar, who is accused of crimes against humanity and is suspected of authorizing torture during the 1990s civil war.

TRIAL International, a Swiss NGO combating impunity for war crimes, has filed a complaint against the retired general, who is now 85 years old.

On August 28, the Swiss Attorney General filed an indictment against Nezzar, referring him to the Federal Criminal Court for “breach of international humanitarian law within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions between 1992 and 1994 in the context of Algeria’s civil war, and for crimes against humanity.”