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Tunisia: President proposes penal reconciliation to recover looted funds

Tunisian President Kais Saied (L) holds a meeting with Chairman of the Tunisian Union for the Defense of Human Rights (LTD) Cemal Muslim (2nd L), Chairman of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights Abdulrahman El-Hethili (R) and President of the Tunisian Journalists' Union Mohammed Yasin al-Jalasi (2nd R) at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, Tunisia on July 27, 2021. ( Tunisian Presidency / Handout - Anadolu Agency )

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday announced a penal reconciliation to recover stolen state funds.

Saied confirmed during a meeting with the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) that as many as 460 people had stolen 13.5 billion dinars ($4.8 billion) from Tunisia and offered a "penal settlement" if they returned the money, Reuters reported.

"I propose a penal reconciliation with businessmen involved in looting the people's money and tax evasion in exchange for their commitment to projects… instead of being prosecuted and imprisoned," conveyed Saied, without elaborating on his proposal.

Saied stressed the need to end tax evasion and resume the phosphate extraction process.

READ: HRW urges Tunisia president to cancel repressive measures

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