ALGIERS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Algerian former Minister of Transport and Public Works Boudjemaa Talai on Monday was placed under custody amid a wide scale anti-corruption operation in Algeria, local media reported.
The state-run radio channel 1 said that Talai was heard earlier on Monday by the Examining Magistrate at the Supreme Court in Algiers, as part of the corruption probe that was launched against Ali Heddad, a prominent businessman who is in prison.
Talai, who is also a member of the parliament, is accused of abuse of power and squandering of public funds.
The trial of Talai was made possible after the approval by the lower house of parliament of the request made by Ministry of Justice to wave the parliamentary immunity from the former minister.
Several prominent businessmen, including Issad Rebrab, Ali Heddad and Mahieddine Tahkout, were placed under custody amid an unprecedented anti-corruption operation launched by Algerian justice following the ousting of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Some government senior officials, including two former prime ministers, namely Abdelmalek Sellal and Ahmed Ouyahia, were also placed under custody.
Other senior officials were placed under judicial control, while others are due to be heard by the Supreme Court in the coming days.
The series of judicial investigations come amid popular protests rocking the North African nation since Feb. 22, as the demonstrators have been denouncing bad governance and corruption.
The demonstrators also demanded the establishment of the rule of law and bringing all those involved in squandering public funds before justice.