Mauritania Grants Bail to Ailing Ex-President Abdel Aziz Amid Graft Probe

Mauritania Grants Bail to Ailing Ex-President Amid Graft Probe (News Central TV)

Mauritanian authorities released former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz from prison on bail for medical reasons, the justice ministry said on Friday, amid an investigation into allegations graft during his tenure in office.

65-year old Abdel Aziz stepped down in 2019 after serving two five-year terms. He was moved from house arrest to state custody in June. He has roundly denied the corruption charges against him.

He was admitted to a hospital in late December at the capital Nouakchott for heart ailments and his family called for his evacuation abroad.

The justice ministry said the bail decision was based on a doctor’s report that Abdel Aziz needed a stress-free environment and a special diet.

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He will remain under judicial and medical supervision, it said in a statement.

His lawyer Mohameden Ichidou welcomed the move as “a step forward which will allow us to continue to demand the release of an innocent man who is seriously ill.”

Abdel Aziz came to power in Mauritania, a vast desert country of less than five million people, in a 2008 coup and was an important ally of Western powers fighting militants in the Sahel region.


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