The Public Prosecution requested the imposition of a five-year prison sentence against the Algerian journalist, who has been arrested since December 2022, Ihsan Al-Qadi, during the trial that took place on Sunday, March 26, 2023, in the presence of the concerned and the absence of his lawyer, who withdrew from the session, provided that the verdict is pronounced on April 2.
The trial was scheduled for March 12, but the judge adjourned it after the journalist refused the trial remotely using video conferencing, and the lawyers did not attend, protesting the “lack of conditions for a fair trial.”
Ihsane Kadi, director of the Algerian station Radio M and the news website Maghreb Emergent, was prosecuted for “foreign financing of his company” under the Penal Code.
The “Morocco Emergent” website stated that the prosecution “requested the imposition of a penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of 700,000 dinars (about 4,800 euros).” Interfas Media, the publisher of the two media outlets, was also fined ten million dinars (more than 68,000 euros).
The prosecution also requested “confiscation of the means and facilities used to exploit the unlicensed audiovisual service” based on the audiovisual law, after the audiovisual control authority, an official body that monitors the work of television and radio channels, was established as a civil party in the case.
Al-Qadi was arrested on December 29 as part of an investigation into illegal fundraising. The capital court said he was suspected of “receiving sums of money and privileges from people and organizations in the country and abroad in order to engage in activities that would undermine the security and stability of the state.”
Algeria ranks 134th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders in 2022.
A petition launched by Reporters Without Borders to demand the judge’s release has collected more than 10,000 signatures.