First Published: 2003-12-19

Mauritania accuses Libya of financing coup plot

Mauritanian police accuse Libya's secret services of having financed Ould Haidallah to plot coup against Ould Taya.


Middle East Online

A trial with no witnesses

NOUAKCHOTT - Mauritanian judicial police late Thursday accused Libya's secret service of having financed a coup allegedly plotted by former president Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah and 14 others during recent elections.

The trial of the former president and the other 14 defendants resumed Thursday despite the absence of key prosecution witnesses.

Judicial police chiefs said the alleged coup plot "has been financed by the Libyan special services".

"Everyone in Nouakchott knows it," the police said in a statement late Thursday.

Some 904,000 dollars was paid in two installments to Sidi Mohamed Ould Haidallah. son of the former president, and a member of his campaign team.,according to the charges.

All 15 suspects have entered pleas of not guilty.

Mauritania's current President Maaouiya Ould Taya was re-elected last month. He first came to power in 1984, when he toppled then president Ould Haidallah in a coup.

Ould Haidallah, a former army colonel who finished a distant second to Ould Taya in last month's election, was arrested two days after the polls and accused of using the campaign to mask a coup plot.

An attempt to oust Ould Taya in June was put down after 36 hours of fighting in the capital Nouakchott. Fifteen people were killed and 68 injured, according to official figures.


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