ALGIERS May 6 An Algerian court on Sunday
postponed until May 27 an appeal hearing into a $1.25 billion
fine imposed on Djezzy, the local mobile phone unit of Russian
telecoms firm Vimpelcom, a Reuters reporter in the
The appeal hearing had already been postponed once, a week
Djezzy chief executive Tamer El Mahdy, who has been
convicted in the case and faces jail if the conviction is
upheld, was not in court for Sunday's hearing.
A lower court ruled in March that Djezzy and its CEO were
guilty of violating foreign exchange regulations. Djezzy's
parent company denied the allegations against it and its chief
executive, and lodged an appeal.
Djezzy has been the subject of a long-running dispute with
the Algerian government, during which the firm has been hit by
back-tax demands, threatened with nationalisation, and put under
Vimpelcom acquired Djezzy last year when it bought the
assets of previous owner, Egyptian firm Orascom Telecom
Under pressure from the Algerian government, Vimpelcom
agreed to talks on selling a controlling stake in Djezzy to the
However, the decision to impose the $1.25 billion fine
soured those talks and prompted Vimpelcom to announce it was
going to international arbitration against Algeria.