The prosecution demanded, Sunday March 26, in Algiers five years in prison accompanied by a ban on practicing for the same duration, against the Algerian press boss Ihsane El-Kadi, imprisoned since the end of December, local media reported.
The Sidi M’hamed court in Algiers will deliver its verdict on April 2, the same sources said.
Imprisoned since December 29, 2022, Mr. El Kadi, director of the Algerian station Radio M and the information site Maghreb Emergent, two independent media quite critical of the Algerian government, is accused of “foreign financing of his company”.
The prosecution also requested the seizure “goods and funds” of the press boss as well as a fine of 700,000 dinars (nearly 4,800 euros). A fine of ten million dinars (more than 68,000 euros) and the seizure of “goods and materials” were also brought against his company Interface Média, which publishes Radio M and Maghreb Emergent.
Mr. El-Kadi is being prosecuted under article 95 bis of the Penal Code. This text provides for a prison sentence of five to seven years for “Anyone who receives funds, a gift or an advantage … to perform or incite to perform acts likely to undermine the security of the State, the stability and the normal functioning of its institutions, national unity, territorial integrity, to the interests” from Algeria.
Mr. El-Kadi is suspected “to have received sums of money and privileges from persons and organizations in the country and abroad in order to engage in activities likely to undermine the security of the State and its stability”had then indicated the Court of Algiers.
Algeria is in the 134e place out of 180 countries in the world ranking of press freedom established by Reporters without Borders (RSF) in 2022. A petition launched by RSF to obtain the release of Mr. El-Kadi has collected more than 10,000 signatures.