Algeria corruption trial: Minister continues to work despite on bail

ALGIERS� Algerians on social media are strongly critical of a government minister remaining in his post, despite being investigated for corruption and being on conditional bail.

Abdelkader Benmessaoud, the minister of tourism, was interrogated by a judge in a high profile corruption case, which also involved former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and transport tycoon Mohieddine Tahkout.

The Algerian Press Agency (APS) said Benmessaoud was released on probation. He will therefore remain under investigation.

Hamdi Baala, a journalist for the Huffington Post in Algeria, posted in French on Twitter that Benmessaoud had been granted bail, sarcastically adding: Yes, and he still keeps his job.

In addition to Benmessaoud, the Supreme Court has interrogated former ministers and current and former governors of provinces.

Army Chief of Staff General Gaid Salah, the de facto man in charge of the country, has vowed to bring to justice all those suspected of corruption.

Protesters in the North African country are calling for the departure of interim head of state Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Abdelkader Bedoui as they push for greater change.