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"We intend to appeal": lawyer for Mauritania's ex-president

A lawyer for Mauritania's former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. 04/12/2023   -  
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Following the sentencing to five years in prison of Mauritania's former president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Monday, his lawyer said they intent to appeal the decision.

Aziz, who ruled the country between 2008 and 2019, was convicted of illicit enrichment and laundering by a court in the capital Nouakchott. 

While the former leader did not react to the judgment, his lawyer spoke following the pronouncement.

"We have always considered this to be a political trial that has nothing to do with the law," said Taleb Khyar. "We intend to appeal, and we hope that our voice will finally be heard then."

Aziz had been on trial since January alongside 10 other prominent figures, including two former prime ministers, for illicit enrichment, abuse of functions, influence-peddling and laundering.

He received the longest sentence of all the defendants in the trial, with two former prime ministers and two former ministers cleared of the charges.

"The trial we attended was a political trial, and its verdict is also very political," one of Aziz's lawyers, Mohameden Ould Icheddou, said. 

The 66-year-old was ultimately convicted of illicit enrichment and laundering but cleared of all other charges.

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