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Mauritania Prevents Ex-President Abdel Aziz From Departing the Nation

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz

Former president of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who is being tried for alleged corruption, claimed on Thursday that he had been prohibited from leaving the country.

On Wednesday, he attempted to leave for a trip, but “the political police, which said it had received instructions, blocked him from doing so,” he said on Facebook.

He said, “The police moved even though I am not under any judicial supervision or other measures that may prevent me from traveling.”

After serving two presidential terms, Abdel Aziz, who took control of the country in a coup in 2008, stepped down in 2019. Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, a former commander, was elected to take his place.

He and 11 other former members of his regime have been accused of engaging in bribery, money laundering, and unlawful enrichment during his rule.

A judicial source has stated that their trial is scheduled to begin on January 25.

In a video shared on his Facebook page, Abdel Aziz claimed that “only two days ago, a person who was on the same list as me was able to fly.”

This dishonest system, which is bringing the nation to ruin, seems to be targeting me for unfair treatment.

Under the condition of anonymity, a senior gendarmerie official claimed Abdel Aziz’s passport was also seized on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, government spokeswoman Nany Ould Chrougha had told reporters that Abdel Aziz’s actions were intended to sway the outcome of the prosecution against him.

A parliamentary probe that was launched in August 2020 was the first step in the investigation into Abdel Aziz, which started shortly after he left government.

The investigation concentrated on the sale of state assets, the closure of a publicly traded firm in charge of food supply, the operations of a Chinese fishing company, and the oil income received by Mauritania during his president.

March 2021 saw the accusation of Abdel Aziz. He was taken into custody three months later for allegedly violating his bond and upsetting the peace, but due to his poor health, he was freed in January 2022.

One of his in-laws, two former prime ministers, and a number of ex-ministers and businesses are also defendants in the case.

According to Abdel Aziz, he is a victim of rivals settling scores. He contends that the constitution grants him protection from legal action.

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