Mauritania releases ex-president week after arrest for corruption

Ould Abdel Aziz “was released and he is not at his home,”

“He has not been charged but his passport, which was taken on his arrest, has not been returned,”

one of the former president’s defense lawyers was quoted as saying by local media.

Aziz, who is 63, was arrested last week on charges of corruption.

He initially resisted cooperation with investigators and refused to answer questions on the basis that he is a former president. However, he later agreed to cooperate after being pressured by the investigators.

Aziz had visited the headquarters of the Directorate General of National Security on August 17 after police went to his home and asked him to cooperate with investigators.

Since August last year, Mauritania has been ruled by President Mohamed Ould Al-Ghazwani, who won the presidential elections on June 22, 2019, apparently with the support of his predecessor, Ould Abdel Aziz.

Ould Abdel Aziz seized power in a coup and served two terms as president from 2008 to 2019.

Parliament started investigating his rule shortly after he left power last year.

He has been released by police after undergoing week-long questioning over suspected Maladministration and embezzlement of public assets under his rule.