Mauritania-Drug Trafficking: Prison Sentence for Sons of Ex-President Upheld

Mauritania-Drug Trafficking: Prison Sentence for Sons of Ex-President Upheld

A court in Nouakchott has upheld the prison sentences handed to two sons of former Mauritanian president Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla involved in a drug trafficking case, reports say.

Ely Cheikh and Sidi Mohamed Ould Haidalla saw the prison sentences they were handed in June confirmed, their lawyer Moctar Ould Ely told the media on Friday.

Ely Cheikh’s sentence has been reportedly increased to a six- year suspended sentence.

“However, in appeal, we must favor reduction of the sentences and not their aggravation. But in this parody of justice, it happens the way it is,” the lawyer said.

Ely Cheikh and Sidi Mohamed Ould Haidalla were sentenced on June 1st after they were convicted for participating in the trafficking of 1.3 ton of Indian hemp, seized by authorities earlier in January.

Sidi Mohamed was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Nouakchott first instance criminal court on June 1st. His brother Ely Cheikh was handed four years. They appealed the June ruling.

Two other individuals, namely Ely Hamdi Ould Abou Bekrine and Elmaaloum Ould Ahmed Bilal, were respectively handed 11 and 10 years in prison.

Nine other defendants have been acquitted for “lack of evidence,” reports say.

Sidi Mohamed Ould Haidalla was arrested in Morocco and condemned in 2008 to seven years for drug trafficking. He was deported to Mauritania in 2014.

Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla ruled the country from 1980 to 1984.

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