Algeria announces the death of its former chief of staff, Khaled Nizar, after setting a date for his trial in Switzerland – Today 24

Algerian media announced the death of former Defense Minister and retired General Khaled Nizar, whose name was linked to the bloody decade in Algeria, in which he was accused of involvement and committing war crimes.
Nizar died at his home in Algiers at the age of 86, according to what was published by the Algerian newspaper An-Nahar.

The announcement of Nizar’s death came hours after news came that a date had been set for the latter’s trial in the Swiss city of Bellinzona on charges of committing war crimes. The trial was expected to take place between June 17 and July 19, 2024, according to what was reported by the human rights organization “Trail International.”

This organization, which provided legal support to the defendants who filed the lawsuit against Nizar, said that the former Algerian Defense Minister will have to respond to the accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought against him by the Office of the Attorney General of the Swiss Confederation.

Two weeks ago, the Swiss Attorney General’s Office issued an indictment against Nizar on suspicion of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the security crisis that followed the suspension of the electoral process in the country in 1992, following the victory of an Islamist faction.

According to the Swiss Public Prosecution, it is suspected that Nizar “approved, coordinated and encouraged” torture and other “cruel, inhuman and degrading” acts, in addition to “extrajudicial executions”, as he will be tried in absentia for crimes committed between 1992 and 1994, and this relates to 11 cases that it says The prosecution documented it.

From the Algerian official side, this trial is seen as an interference in the state’s sovereign choices, which led to igniting the fuse of anger between the two countries, which was expressed by Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf in a phone call with his Swiss counterpart.

Attaf said, according to what was reported by the Algerian Foreign Ministry’s statement, “It is unacceptable for Swiss justice to give itself the right to issue judgments about the political options of an independent and sovereign state in matters of national security.”

The former Minister of Defense, who was the last person to hold this position, who was later attached to the position of President of the Republic in Algeria, was famous for his role in halting the electoral process in the early nineties following the victory of the Islamic Salvation Front in the first round of parliamentary elections, and the subsequent escalation of events that ended with the resignation of President Chadli Bendjedid. The country entered the tunnel of security crisis.

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