The former chief executive of the Algerian state-owned oil company Sonatrach has been sentenced to two years in jail, with one suspended, and fined $7,000 by an Algerian court after standing trial for corruption charges.  

Mohamed Meziane was jailed following a probe into irregular payments at Africa’s largest company that started in late 2009 and resulted in the official being stripped of his post and placed under arrest in January 2010 (MEED 9:4:11).

Four other officials, including the man who briefly replaced Meziane, Abdelhafid Feghouli, who also tried and received sentences of up to a year in prison each.

The corruption investigation led to most of the senior managers at the company being replaced and new stringent anti-corruption procedures being adopted by the company.

However, many international contractors have complained of major delays in projects in Algeria as the decision-making processes throughout Sonatrach have been paralysed for over a year.