An investigative judge in Nouakchott directed, on Thursday, the former Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, and about ten other prominent personalities accused of corruption, and ordered that they be placed under judicial supervision, according to what a forensic source and a lawyer for the former president said.
The judicial source said that the investigating judge took the recommendations of the Prosecutor General Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, who asked him to file corruption charges against Ould Abdel Aziz and place him under “strict” judicial control, and to take the same measures against about ten other prominent personalities, including one of the in-laws The former president, two former heads of government, a number of former ministers and businessmen.
“Adhere to immunity”
This information was confirmed to Agence France-Presse by lawyer Mohamed Ould Al-Shadu, one of the agents of the defense of Ould Abdel Aziz, who held power for a decade. The legislative and judicial authorities have finally investigated corruption cases marred his reign. The lawyer said that his client “refused to answer the judge’s questions, insisting on the immunity granted to him by the constitution in its 93 article.”
For his part, the judicial source said that the investigating judge will soon determine the conditions for judicial supervision, which he ordered to impose on him.
According to a source familiar with the file, the indictment against the former president is long, and includes money laundering, embezzlement and obstruction of justice.
Ould Abdel Aziz (64 years) assumed the presidency in 2008 for two terms before he was succeeded in August 2019 by Mohamed Ould Sheikh Al-Ghazwani, his former assistant and former Minister of Defense.
But Ould Abdel Aziz has been marginalized since Al-Ghazwani came to power.
Parliamentary Investigation Committee
Last year, Parliament announced the formation of a committee to investigate suspicions of embezzlement during the term of the former president.
Among the files it examined The Parliamentary Committee to manage oil revenues and sell property belonging to the state in Nouakchott and liquidate a public company that guaranteed the supply of foodstuffs and the activity of a Chinese company in the field of fishing.
Then the police arrested Ould Abdel Aziz in August to question him in the case before he Confiscate a passport H. However, the former president refused to answer the police’s questions and accused Ghazwani of seeking to “settle scores.” Ould Abdel Aziz said after his release in August, “I am the victim of settling scores, but I will defend myself.”
After months of investigation, Ould Abdel Aziz was summoned to a session with the Public Prosecutor on Wednesday, who questioned about 30 suspects. Before deciding to indict about ten of them.
The defense attorneys for the former president said that the case is related to “dragging an entire regime with his men to the police and distorting their honor.”
It was The public prosecutor said he would not ask the judge to arrest Ould Abdel Aziz because the case against him would likely take a long time. He added that cash and property, including companies, apartments and cars, worth about 96 million euros (115 million dollars) were confiscated as part of the investigation. Of that amount, the equivalent of 67 million euros ($ 80 million) belongs to one of the suspects, but the Public Prosecutor did not name him.
The former president had ignored a summons from the parliamentary committee in early July. However, at the end of July, deputies voted on a law establishing a Supreme Court of Justice to prosecute presidents and ministers in the event of “high treason.” However, Ould Abdel Aziz’s legal team stresses that the constitution protects the former president from prosecution.
Last August, the Parliamentary Committee formally referred its report to the State Prosecutor’s Office. This led to a government reshuffle in Mauritania during which Al-Ghazwani changed four ministers whose names were mentioned in the investigation.
In December, Ould Abdel Aziz lost the leadership of the party that he established, the Union for the Republic.