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Mauritania’s former president jailed for five years for corruption

Former president of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz received a five-year jail term for “illicit enrichment” and money laundering.

Following a coup in 2008, Abdel Aziz ruled the nation of West Africa for ten years and fought with Western nations against Islamist insurgents in the Sahel. During his January trial, he refuted accusations of corruption.

The court found Abdel Aziz guilty of two of 10 charges late on Monday, following an inquiry into allegations of embezzlement of public property and corruption.

One of his lawyers called the ruling “a political verdict targeting a man and his family”. Prosecutors said the former head of state’s conviction was historic.

The court, which specialises in corruption and economic crimes, acquitted some of Abdel Aziz’s associates who had also been on trial, including two former prime ministers.

Abdel Aziz was succeeded in 2019 by a political ally, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, who remains president, but Abdel Aziz’s government quickly came under scrutiny over actions including deals on offshore oil projects.

Abdel Aziz has the option of appealing his sentence at the Supreme Court.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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