Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the former president of Mauritania, received a five-year prison sentence for “illicit enrichment” and money laundering.
After taking over in a coup in 2008, Abdel Aziz ruled the nation of West Africa for ten years and sided with Western nations in their conflict with Islamist extremists in the Sahel. He had refuted accusations of corruption during his trial, which began in January.
Abdel Aziz was found guilty of two of the ten charges against him by the court late on Monday after it looked into claims of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.
The decision was described as “a political verdict targeting a man and his family” by one of his attorneys. The previous head of state’s conviction, according to the prosecution, was historic.
Some of Abdel Aziz’s allies, including two former prime ministers, who had also been on trial, were cleared by the court, which specializes in corruption and economic crimes.
Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, a political ally of Abdel Aziz’s, took over as president in 2019; nevertheless, Abdel Aziz’s administration was soon under investigation for dealings on offshore oil projects, among other things.
Abdel Aziz may choose to file an appeal with the Supreme Court about his punishment.