A British businessman claims to have been trapped in Algeria for more than three years without charge, the UK’s Daily Telegraph have reported.
Mechanical,engineer, Amine Khalil, who has dual Algerian and British nationality, claims to have been persuaded to return to North Africa out of fear for his Algerian family three years ago to “answer a few questions” about a corruption probe into the state-run energy company Sonatrach he had worked for briefly in 2007.
However, shortly after his arrival, Mr Khalil told the paper that he had been arrested, loaded into a prison bus with a number of other suspects and driven to a dilapidated rural building, which he was informed was a courthouse. Once there, Mr Khalil appeared in front of a judge, who declined to charge him but did make vague accusations of “nepotism.” The Judge also speared to believe that Mr Khalil was a relative of, Chakib Khelil, Algeria’s former energy minister.
Following the hearing, Mr Khalil told of how he had been stripped of his passport and forced to remain in the country, where he had to attend countless interviews and judicial hearings, many of which were carried out in Arabic.
According to Mr Khalil, he remains unable to leave the country, even though the investigation was formally closed in December 2015.
Mr Kalil, who has a young family in south London has missed the birth of his second child, Libby Anabelle while being detained in North Africa. His wife, Dorota is also said to be under “immense stress” as she is having to look after Libby and their older son, Kyle by herself.
Contacted by Mr Khalil’s lawyers, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that it would not provide consular assistance as Mr Khalil is a dual British-Algerian national and not in any immediate danger.
Speaking to the Telegraph earlier this week, Mr Khalil said, “I am British, my link to Britain is not in doubt…Algeria for me was merely a business interest.”
“My health has been greatly affected by this, specifically my heart where I now have a ventricular defect and I suffer from frequent premature hear beat.
“My mother, a retired teacher, is paying for my medication as I have no legal means of bringing in currency.”