Accessibility links

Defense Lawyers Boycott Trial of Suspected Coup Plotters in Mauritania

The trial of scores of soldiers and a dozen civilians accused of plotting a series of coups in Mauritania resumed Tuesday, despite a boycott by defense lawyers protesting the arrest of a colleague.

The defense lawyers walked out on Monday after the judge jailed one of them for what he called a lack of discipline.

A handful of suspects were questioned during Tuesday's proceedings, but all refused to give any answers since their lawyers were absent.

Those on trial include two opposition leaders and former Mauritanian President Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah. They said they will plead innocent to the charges.

There are a total of 181 suspects accused of taking part in successive coup plots against current President Maaouiya Ould Taya since last year.