French justice minister Nicole Belloubet in Algeria to sign controversial extradition treaty

French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, on October 24, 2018. / AFP / Eric FEFERBERG

Nicole Belloubet, France’s Minister of Justice, is on an official visit today and tomorrow, at the invitation of Tayeb Louh, her counterpart, as announced yesterday by the Embassy of France in Algeria.

This visit will be an opportunity to sign a new controversial extradition agreement between France and Algeria, which could enable France to extradite Algerian political opponents residing in France.

This convention is a modern and ambitious tool for framing future judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It will streamline our exchanges and facilitate the implementation of certain requests for extradition, while ensuring respect for the fundamental values ​​of our two countries, ” read the announcement.

The same source stated that the signature of this extradition agreement “also marks a further step forward in the renewal of the framework of a new convention on mutual legal assistance in the field of criminal matters which came into effect last May“.

Critics have expressed concerns about the signing of such a treaty, particularly when taking into consideration the fact that the Algerian judiciary has in the past used charges deemed as ‘bogus’ to silence political opponents and journalists.