Tahmed Ouyahia (L) and Abdelmalek Sellal (R) were both allies of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

An Algerian court has sentenced two former prime ministers to long jail terms amid a huge corruption investigation.

Ahmed Ouyahia was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Abdelmalek Sellal got a 12-year sentence.

They were accused of abusing authority in a car manufacturing embezzlement scandal, AP news agency reports.

They are two of 19 defendants caught up in the corruption investigation, which was launched after ex-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced from power earlier this year by protesters who were against him running for re-election.

The verdict comes two days before an election intended to find his successor.

Activists, who continue to organise weekly demonstrations, do not want the poll to go ahead as they say the candidates held power under Mr Bouteflik.

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