Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mauritania arrests former president amid corruption probe

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Mauritanian authorities have arrested former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday, amid an ongoing investigation into alleged high-level corruption during his time in office.

Abdel Aziz, who stepped down in 2019 after serving two five-year terms, was indicted in March and placed under house arrest in May, following a parliamentary investigation into suspected graft during his administration.

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Abdel Aziz was taken into custody late on Tuesday for failing to appear before a judge last week, as he is required to do regularly under the terms of his judicial supervision, said Mohameden Ichidou, coordinator of the lawyers for his defence.

“The cause raised in the report relates to the absence of the former president in front of the judge on Friday and Sunday,” said Ichidou.

He said Abdel Aziz had stopped going to see the judge because each time he went he was followed by police and civilians along the road who hassled and threatened him.

The former president could not be reached on Wednesday for comment. He has previously denied the corruption allegations. (Reuters)

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