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Ex-presidential candidate arrested for graft in Tunisia

Yassine Chennoufi, Tunisian businessman and former candidate at the elections [Twitter]
Yassine Chennoufi, Tunisian businessman and former candidate at the elections [Twitter]

A Tunisian businessman and former candidate in the 2014 presidential election have reportedly been arrested on charges of corruption.

According to several media sources, Yassine Channoufi was arrested by a brigade of the National Guard on suspicion of corruption, embezzlement and attacks on state security.

Before Channoufi’s arrest, businessman Chafik Jarraya was also arrested in a cafe for breach of state security and taken to the El Aouina barracks.

Read: Tunisia protesters close oil pumping station after army standoff

News of the arrests was met by confusion following reports that the Judiciary and Public Prosecutor did not authorise the arrests. Speaking to Radio Shams FM, Sofiene Sliti said: “For us, as an official body, a person can only be detained in custody through a written agreement of the public prosecutor’s office and the public prosecutor has neither written nor orally asked for the arrest of Chafik Jarraya nor of Yassine Channoufi.”

Tunisians took to social media to express their joy and salute the courage of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and his government for their fight against corruption which has been Chahed’s priority since taking office last year. For others, the arrests are viewed as measures undertaken by the government to calm the tensions of recent days especially in Tataouine.

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