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Withholding files in the case of ex-Mauritania president shows it’s political, lawyers say

March 30, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Former Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz in Nouakchott on 1 August 2019 [SEYLLOU/afp/AFP/Getty Images]

Lawyers of former Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz criticised the magistrate who charged their client with money laundering, corruption, and illicit enrichment for withholding the indictment file against him.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the lawyers said that preventing them from obtaining the indictment documents is a “flagrant violation of the Criminal Procedure Law and international laws of rights and freedoms in addition to being an unprecedented incident in the history of the Mauritanian judiciary.”

The lawyers pointed out that the way the judiciary is handling this file clearly proves that the issue is “political par excellence” and that the successive constitutional and legal violations perpetuate the political nature of the file of pursuing the former president.

READ: Mauritania’s ex-president threatens to break silence, reveal new information

The judiciary has pressed several corruption charges against 13 people who have been placed under judicial supervision, including Ould Abdel Aziz. About $80 million have been frozen, most belonging to the former president.

The corruption charges are related to awarding large-scale deals in energy, electricity, roads, building airports to certain parties, in addition to selling real estate to the state.