News24

Mauritania ex-rights chief jailed

2012-06-11 09:53

Nouakchott - Mauritania's former human rights commissioner Mohamed Lemine Ould Dadde was handed a three-year jail term on Sunday for embezzlement and ordered to pay back over €200 000, his lawyer said.

"The criminal court [in Nouakchott] condemned Ould Dadde to three years in prison and to pay back 76 million ouguiyas [over $260 000]," lawyer Brahim Ould Ebetty said.

The prison term will be backdated to September 2010 when Ould Dadde was arrested, a month after being fired from his position by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Ould Ebetty said the trial was "highly politicised" and said the defence team would lodge an appeal "immediately".

The prosecutor had sought a five-and-a-half-year prison term for the accused who was charged, when the trial opened in March, with "embezzlement, misappropriation of funds and squandering" $930 000.

Ould Dadde's family and rights organisations have said he is a victim of "arbitrary detention" and accuse the government of interfering in the case.