A court in Mauritania sentenced former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to five years in prison on Monday, for abusing his position to amass an unjust fortune.
Aziz, who ruled from 2008 to 2019, faced charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering as part of a trial that included 10 prominent figures, including two former prime ministers. The court upheld the charges of illegal enrichment and laundering, ordering the confiscation of Aziz’s illegally obtained assets. The 66-year-old, who has been imprisoned since January, received the longest sentence of the defendants, while two former prime ministers and two former ministers were acquitted.
Aziz’s lawyers plan to appeal the verdict.
Aziz, who quelled a jihadist insurgency during his two terms, stepped down in 2019, marking Mauritania’s first peaceful transfer of power.
Accused of amassing approximately 72 million U.S. dollars, Aziz maintained his innocence.