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The Latest: Algerian media group says ‘kidnapped’ CEO freed

March 28, 2019
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In this picture taken on June 27, 2012, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, left, and his Army chief of staff, Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah, attend a military parade in Cherchell near Algiers, Algeria. Algeria's powerful army chief, Ahmed Gaid Salah, insisted Wednesday that the military won't get mixed up in politics, a day after he said a constitutional process should be set in motion to declare ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika unfit for office. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The Latest on the alleged abduction of an Algerian media group’s CEO (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

An Algerian media company says its chief executive has been released several hours after what it described as his kidnapping by security forces.

The Echourouk Group television station said CEO Ali Fodhil “was released on orders of the prosecutor” following the alleged abduction outside Fodhil’s house.

Earlier Thursday, the TV station tied the episode to Fodhil’s allegation this week that the brother of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was linked to corruption.

Fodhil alleged this week on TV that Algeria was run by “extraconstitutional forces” and that the president’s younger brother, Said Bouteflika, was “head of the gang.”

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3:30 p.m.

A media company in Algeria says its owner was kidnapped by security forces and tied it to his blaming the president’s brother for alleged corruption.

The television channel of the Echourouk Group reported that chief executive was abducted Thursday as he left home for work.

Fodhil alleged this week on TV that Algeria was run by “extraconstitutional forces” and that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s younger brother, Said Bouteflika, was “head of the gang.”

Corruption has long been considered widespread in the North African country, but the president’s critics allege it has grown during Bouteflika’s two decades in power.

It’s among the chief complaints of protesters who have been demanding that Bouteflika step down.

Massive protests started last month and have thrown Algeria into an unprecedented political crisis.

The chief of a media company was released Thursday, several hours after being “kidnapped” by security forces, the Echourouk television station announced.

Ali Fodhil “was released on orders of the prosecutor after being kidnapped this morning,” the TV station said. It has tied the episode to Fodhil’s allegation this week that the brother of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was linked to corruption.

It said Fodhil was abducted as he left home for work Thursday morning. He was released in mid-afternoon, the TV station said.

Fodhil alleged this week on TV that Algeria was run by “extraconstitutional forces” and that the president’s younger brother, Said Bouteflika, was “head of the gang.”

Corruption has long been considered widespread in the North African country, but the president’s critics allege it has grown during Bouteflika’s two decades in power.

It’s among the chief complaints of protesters who have been demanding that Bouteflika step down.

Massive protests started last month and have thrown Algeria into an unprecedented political crisis.

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