Breaking news: businessmen released

Direct from Nouakchott: The businessmen held on corruption charges are said to have been released (Mohamed Ould Noueighidh, Ould Abdallahi and Abdou Ould Maham). These were those associated with the Ould Nagi case, belonging to the Smasside tribe. Revolving door justice? Or something else? More to come.

UpdateTaqadoumy confirms the previous report above. According to a source quoted in Taqadoumy‘s report, the men will pay a “small percentage of the funds [which they embezzled] to help save face for Ould Abdel Aziz.”  Al-Akhbar reports that “hundreds demonstrators” gathered outside of the prison where the men were held, greeting them on release. The paper (as well as Taqadoumy) further reports that Sheikh Mohamed Hassan Ould Deddew negotiated with Gen. Ould Abdel Aziz for the businessmen’s release. Al-Akhbar also has stories on the investigation’s halt, as well as multiple stories on Hanevi Ould Daha, the detained editor of Taqadoumy.

The release is a blow to Ould Abdel Aziz’s anti-corruption campaign and credibility; it exposes the entire ordeal for the political charade it was. It also speaks to the influence of Sheikh Deddew as a moral and political figure, ready for action and use in politics, and public life at large. His role as a negotiator will make for interesting investigation when more information become available. Again, more to come.


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