General Ali Ghediri, a former Presidential Candidate has been sentenced to four years in prison for undermining the morale of the Algerian Army.
Ali Ghediri had said he would stand in Algeria’s April 2019 election against longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The ailing autocrat’s decision to seek a fifth mandate led to mass protests against his rule and he later stepped down under army pressure.
Ghediri, who had been in detention since June 2019, appeared in court on Thursday accused of “participating during peacetime in undertakings aimed at weakening army morale.”
The prosecution had requested a sentence of seven years behind bars.
Ghediri was a political novice without a strong support structure to back him when he threw his hat into the ring against Bouteflika.
He had said he wanted to “break the system” and “build a second republic”.
During an interview in a late 2018 with El Watan newspaper, Ghediri hit out at speculation that the April election might be postponed and Bouteflika’s mandate extended, suggesting he expected the army to stop any such move.
The comments earned him a rebuke from the defence ministry, which threatened to go to court if rules on the conduct of former military officers were breached.