A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Mauritania legislators elected to court trying deposed president

[JURIST] The Mauritanian Parliament has elected eight of its members to a High Court set to try deposed President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi [BBC profile] on corruption charges. Legislators chose [press release, in Arabic] four National Assembly members and four senators by secret ballot during a public session on Tuesday. The US State Department has stated it only recognizes Abdallahi's government [statement text], and the US Embassy [official website] in Nouakchott on Monday refused to recognize Mauritania's new regime [press release; AFP report], adding that the US is "actively exploring potential travel and financial sanctions against military and civilian individuals participating in, or enabling, an illegal and non-democratic government." AP has more. Le Calame has additional coverage, in French.

Abdallahi has been detained since his government was overthrown on August 6 in a military coup led by Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was later named head of state [JURIST reports]. On Tuesday, Aziz convened the regime's Cabinet for the first time following its appointment [press releases, in Arabic; AFP report]. Aziz's coup is the second in Mauritania [official website; CIA backgrounder; JURIST news archive] since 2005, when Aziz backed the removal [JURIST report] of then-President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Taya [BBC report]. At one time, Aziz supported Abdallahi, but the two split after Abdallahi made political concessions to conservative Muslim groups.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.