Head of Algerian Police Killed by Officer, New Chief Appointed
Long-serving Algerian national police chief, Ali Tounsi was shot dead on February 25, 2010 by a senior police officer.
The killer was head of the country’s police academy.
The official version cites an “act of madness,” but the assassination is reported by private sources to be linked to an anti-corruption wave that has already claimed the jobs of key senior figures in other industries, including the CEO of state-owned firm Sonatrach.
This case concerns allegations of contract irregularities involving the killer, Oultache Chouaib, who apparently was already sanctioned through a demotion prior to the act. Oultache Chouaib attempted to kill himself by is said to have failed and may still be alive.
A former intelligence officer at the 'Securite Militaire,' Ali Tounsi took the leadership of the police and has been essentially Algeria's second most powerful security man. Head of the police for over 11 years, he has played a key role in modernizing the police system with the introduction of new technologies and a different organizational structure. His role in fighting terrorism has been instrumental, so was the introduction of female officers in what used to an exclusively male corporation.
Tounsi has been also a controversial figure in various aspects. More recently, there have been attempts by his boss and political rival, Yazid Zerhouni to replace him, creating tension in the country's security organization.Meanwhile, Ali Tounsi’s deputy, Abdelaziz Affani was appointed as the interim Director General to insure continuity. Affani was promoted to chief of the detective division a month ago.
Born in Mostaghanem, Affani is known for his anti-terrorism expertise. His moment of fame came in 1993 when he dismantled a terrorist cell that was preparing to raid a bank in the capital.
-French news reporting [in French]
-Former French intelligence office Yves Bonnet speaks of Ali Tounsi (in French)