Mauritania: ex-president Mohamed ould Abdel Aziz returned to court for alleged corruption

#Mauritania : Former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will be tried in court for alleged corruption with 11 other dignitaries of his regime, on the decision of the Mauritanian judge in charge of the investigation, announced Wednesday to AFP a magistrate of the prosecution and a lawyer.

The former president and his 11 co-defendants are notably accused of «corruption, money laundering and illicit enrichment». Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was charged in March 2021, along with several senior figures, for these alleged acts which were allegedly committed when he ruled the country from 2008 to 2019.

Among his co-defendants are one of his sons-in-law, two former prime ministers and several former ministers and businessmen.

«The investigating judge effectively decided to refer these (12) persons charged with corruption to the Criminal Court (of the Nouakchott court) responsible for judging crimes of corruption», told AFP a magistrate at the Nouakchott prosecutor’s office, on condition of anonymity. No date has been announced for the trial.

>>> READ ALSO: Mauritania: justice agrees to release ex-president Ould Abdel Aziz after his operation

The judge did not follow the prosecutor’s office, which had requested «the referral of all indicted persons to the court», two of them having been cleared: a former finance minister and a former director of the national industrial and mining company (SNIM), according to the same source. Fourteen people were initially targeted.

The lawyer for the former president, Me Mohameden Ould Icheddou, confirmed to AFP on Wednesday the information on the referral of Mr. Aziz and his co-defendants to court.

«We have not yet received notification of this but the decision has been taken to refer all these (12) people to the criminal court. We will react when the time comes»said Me Ould Icheddou, without saying if he was going to appeal this decision.

Related Articles:  PLF-2024: Changes in VAT Rates for Electrical Energy and Renewable Sources

>>> READ ALSO: Mauritania: the underside of the incarceration of ex-president Mohamed ould Abdel Aziz

The former head of state was placed in detention in June 2021 for non-compliance, according to justice, with the measures of his judicial control and disturbance of public order, before being released at the beginning of January for health reasons. .

Justice had been seized in August 2020 of the report of a parliamentary commission of inquiry responsible for shedding light on alleged acts of corruption and embezzlement of public funds during the more than 10 years in power of Ould Abdel Aziz.

The commission looked at several aspects: management of oil revenues, sale of state property, liquidation of a public company supplying the country with foodstuffs, activities of a Chinese fishing company, etc.

The ex-president, who cries out «settling scores», always refused to speak to the examining magistrate. He considers himself protected by the immunity conferred on him by the Constitution.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.