Announced with great fanfare as part of the reform of the justice system, initiated by the former Minister of Justice, Tayeb Louh, currently incarcerated in El Harrach prison, the electronic bracelet has been the scam of the century!
It will apparently never see the light of day. This Thursday in front of parliamentarians, the Keeper of the Seals, Belkacem Zeghmati, confirmed that this project, which was the key element of the reform of justice, has simply been abandoned. However, in 2017, Parliament had adopted a bill on the organisation of sentences outside prisons by means of electronic bracelet.
The aim was to allow prisoners sentenced to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or those who have yet to serve a custodial sentence not exceeding three years to serve it outside the penal establishment and they will thus be monitored by means of this same bracelet. A significant amount of funding has been made available for this scheme.
The day before yesterday, during a plenary session devoted to oral questions, the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Belkacem Zeghmati, was questioned on the fate of the electronic bracelet and the huge sums paid for its acquisition.
Zeghmati confessed that the project has cost colossal sums in foreign currency while the author of this reform was well aware that there were problems and technical difficulties in the implementation of this bracelet.
Today, an investigation is being launched to shed light on this case, which is taking on the appearance of a corruption affair and a new financial scandal. « The use of this bracelet is suspended until further notice », Zerghamti replied to the MPs without giving further details.
He only said that a judicial investigation has been launched at the Sidi M’hamed court into the acquisition of the colossal sums of foreign currency, while technical problems are preventing its use.
« We had high hopes on the use of the electronic bracelet, but these hopes vanished after the observation of technical problems preventing the implementation of this device, » the minister regrets. In 2018, an investigation was launched by the judicial police services.
According to some sources, the electronic bracelet markets have cost the state finances no less than 100 million dollars, the equivalent of 2000 billion cents, while the device has not been operational because of the non-availability of these devices to the services concerned and the non-compliance of the quantities available in some of these services.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the former minister had imported the electronic bracelets from several European countries at a price of US$1,000 each, and it later turned out that these devices were manufactured in China and did not meet international standards.