Mauritania: Former President Ould Abdel Aziz speaks one last time at his trial

Former Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has been on trial for nine months alongside a dozen co-defendants on charges including illicit enrichment and abuse of power. After the pleadings of the lawyers for the civil party and those for the defence, it is now time for the final statements of the accused. Starting with that of the former president himself. The prosecutor had asked for 20 years in prison against the former president with confiscation of his property. On Monday, November 27, the former head of state launched new accusations.

Mauritania's former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (illustration image) AFP/File

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With our correspondent in Nouakchott, Léa Breuil

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz surprised everyone. In court, he claimed that part of his undeclared fortune came from donations he received from current President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani just after his inauguration.

The former head of state is accused of having amassed an immense fortune, in particular by carrying out commercial activities incompatible with his duties as president of the republic. Accusations that he has always denied.

He also denounced violations of the Constitution, relying on Article 93, that of presidential immunity. He assures that all the sales of public property and public land of which he is accused have been made in full transparency.


The president has spoken extensively about the origin of his assets, said defense lawyer Taleb Kyar. The President, in all that he has done, in all the undertakings he has done, has only respected the prerogatives given to him by the Constitution. It was his political rivals who created this dossier from scratch.


According to Vadili Raiss, lawyer for the civil party, this argument is not very well supplied. He disputes the argument of presidential immunity. According to him, a former head of state can be tried after his term of office, if the alleged offences are separable from his presidential function. "He had an executive, he went beyond that executive to get himself involved in the day-to-day affairs of the administration. Buildings, markets, corporations, all of that he didn't talk about. He remained evasive.


In the coming days, a dozen co-defendants are also due to speak for the last time. Before the deliberations and judgment of the court.

Read alsoMauritania: end of pleadings in the trial of ex-president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

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