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Mauritania's ex-president threatens to break silence, reveal new information

Former Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Conakry on March 11, 2015 [CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Former Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in Conakry on March 11, 2015 [CELLOU BINANI/AFP/Getty Images]

Former Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who has been placed under judicial supervision on charges of corruption, on Thursday threatened to break silence via his lawyer, which could lead to "changing many things".

On 12 March, an examining magistrate pressed charges against Ould Abdel Aziz and placed him under judicial supervision, together with his son-in-law, two former heads of government and a number of ministers and businesspeople.

The former president is required to go to the police station three times a week and obtain judicial authorisation to leave the capital, Nouakchott.

Lawyer Mohamed Ould Ashdou stated in a press conference: "In case the current deception continues, I am sure that my client will break his silence despite his commitment to the constitution and Article 93, which protects him from proceedings before ordinary courts."

He added: "I am also sure that if he breaks his silence, many things will change and a lot of issues will be undermined in Mauritania," without explaining the nature of the information that he may reveal or the parties that may be affected.

READ: 200 Mauritania scholars ban normalisation with Israel

The lawyer also indicated that he had appealed the indictment and the decision to place the former president under judicial supervision.

After more than a decade in power (between 2008 and 2019), the indictment represents a new facet of marginalising Ould Abdel Aziz during the mandate of his successor, Former Chief of Staff and Minister Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ghazouani, even though the former paved the way for Ghazouani to become president.

Ould Abdel Aziz confirmed that he is being subjected to "attempts to settle political accounts against him," while the current president reiterated his intention to defend the independence of the judiciary.

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