The unprecedented international warrant for the arrest of former energy and mines minister Chakib Khelil and 19 other individuals, including members of his family, brings the Algerian judiciary into line with aggressive corruption investigations in Italy and elsewhere. It also removes the suspicion that those involved might still enjoy some degree of domestic political protection. Warrants issued by prosecutors in Milan in late July had already provided strong indications that Khelil could be directly implicated in a major corruption investigation concerning the Italian engineering company Saipem, state-owned oil and gas company Sonatrach and the electricity and gas utility Sonelgaz. But, until the recent announcement, it appeared that these alleged abuses, committed in Algeria, were being more vigorously pursued overseas.
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