Algiers - Algerian authorities on Monday detained an automobile tycoon linked to ousted president Abdul Aziz Bouteflika on charges of corruption, one of his lawyers said.

Mahieddine Tahkout “was detained along with his son and two of his brothers on charges of corruption and money laundering”, the lawyer Khalid Bourayou told AFP.

The decision to detain them came a day after they were questioned by an investigative judge, the official APS news agency said.

Private media said Tahkout, who holds several foreign car dealerships, was accused of “undue privileges” under the rule of Bouteflika, who was forced to step down in April after weeks of protests.

Tahkout and the family members run the Tahkout Manufacturing Company (TMC) which assembles vehicles in Algeria for South Korean carmaker Hyundai.

Several prominent politicians and businessmen linked to Bouteflika have been detained or questioned in connection with corruption since the ailing president was forced to step down on April 3.

The justice ministry said on Monday that Algeria’s upper house would vote on June 19 on whether to lift the parliamentary immunity of two Bouteflika-era ministers - Said Barkat and Djamel Ould Abbes.

It did not specify the reason behind its request but local media has reported the ministry wants them tried in connection to a probe on the “misappropriation of funds within the ministry of national solidarity they directed”.

Barkat served successively as minister of agriculture, health and national solidarity between 1999 and 2012.

Ould Abbes was minister of national solidarity, employment and health during the same period.

They have both been members of the upper house of parliament since 2013, appointed by the president, then Bouteflika, who nominates one-third of the body’s members.

AFP