Mauritania: Former president Ould Abdel Aziz released after surgery, remains under judicial supervision

Mauritania’s judiciary agreed to release, under judicial supervision, former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who had fallen from grace and been jailed for several months in a case of alleged corruption, the Justice Ministry announced.

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, 65, had been hospitalized in late December for urgent treatment after falling ill, according to his lawyers. He underwent on January 1 heart surgery to widen the vessels and improve blood circulation. The hospital said the surgery was successful.

The doctors who are following him have recommended, in a report, “a quiet lifestyle and free of any form of anxiety and psychological pressure,” the ministry said in a statement.

The prosecutor’s office has therefore requested that he be released and the judges in charge of the investigation have agreed that he be placed under judicial and medical supervision at his home, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, Ould Abdel Aziz, who led Mauritania from 2008 to 2019, had benefited from good conditions of detention, a “rapid and effective” response of state services to the deterioration of his health and a “high level of medical care”.

The former head of state was indicted in March 2021 on charges of corruption, money laundering, illicit enrichment, squandering public property, granting undue advantage, and obstructing the course of justice.

He was detained in June for failure to comply with his judicial supervision and for disturbing the peace.