Algeria issues arrest warrants for former oil minister, others

By Lamine Chikhi

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria has issued international arrest warrants for nine individuals, including former oil minister Chakib Khelil, the official APS news agency said on Monday.

Also on the Attorney General's list of warrants were Khelil's wife, two of his sons, and Farid Noureddine Bedjaoui.

Bedjaoui is accused by Italian prosecutors of channeling nearly 198 million euros ($230 million) in bribes for Italian oil service group Saipem, controlled by Eni, to officials in Algeria via a company called Pearl Partners Limited.

Algeria is investigating allegations of corruption involving state energy company Sonatrach and Italy's Eni, and has already requested assistance from judicial authorities in Italy, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates to help gather evidence.

A former manager of Saipem, at the center of the bribery probe relating to Algerian gas contracts, was arrested in Italy on July 28.

(Reporting By Lamine Chikhi; editing by Mike Collett-White)