Mauritania’s former president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, has been sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering and an increase in the assets of a public official that he cannot reasonably explain in relation to his lawful income.
Abdel Aziz was the 8th President of Mauritania, in office from 2009 to 2019, and also an active politician who came to power after the 2008 coup.
His case has been going on for a while since January 2023, when he had his trial and denied all the corruption allegations that were put against him.
According to one of his attorneys, the ruling was “a political verdict targeting a man and his family.” Prosecutors said the former president’s conviction was historic.
His attorneys said there is still hope and the option of appealing his sentence to the Supreme Court.
The court also ordered the taking away of his illegally obtained assets.
The court, which specialises in corruption and economic crimes, acquitted some of Abdel Aziz’s associates who were also on trial, including two former prime ministers.
The former president, Abdel Aziz, was found guilty by court of two of the 10 charges of embezzlement of public property and corruption.
On August 1, 2019, a retired Mauritanian Army general named Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed Ould Ghazouani took over as Abdel Aziz’s replacement.