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Marzouki: The sentence issued against me is absurd, has no effect

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, Tunisia on 1 September 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, Tunisia on 1 September 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki described the four-year jail sentence handed to him as "a continuation of tampering", and stressed that "it means nothing, because it was issued by illegal parties."

"I can find nothing to say, except laughter and sarcasm. I was not contacted for any court subpoenas, I have not assigned an attorney to defend me, and I have not known anything about the progress of the case, except what I hear today like other people," Marzouki told Arabi21 after the sentence was passed on Wednesday.

A court sentenced him in absentia on charges of conspiring against state security.

Marzouki pointed out that this is evidence of President Kais Saied's dominance over the judicial authority. "It is clear through the conduct of this trial, including its accusations and judgement, that all are politicised, which means that there is an attempt to return Tunisia to a worse square than it was in the era of [former dictator Zine El Abidine] Ben Ali, against which the Tunisians revolted."

He added: "This ruling does not mean anything to me, and I will deal with it as if it does not exist. I will not appeal it, I will not assign any attorney to do so, tomorrow I will start a hunger strike with a number of politicians and activists in opposition to the coup, and in order to return to the democratic path."

READ: Tunisia's Ennahda slams prison sentence against ex-President Moncef Marzouki

"There is no alternative before the Tunisian people but to struggle in order to end this coup, and to continue in the path of democratic transition."

Marzouki, who currently resides in the French capital Paris, accused current Tunisian President Kais Saied of staging a coup in July after the latter announced he was suspending parliament, fired the prime minister, and arrested officials.

Saied has rejected the accusations, claiming that he was acting to end protracted political paralysis and that a referendum will be held next year on a new constitution, followed by parliamentary elections.

In early November, a judge in charge of the case issued an international arrest warrant for Marzouki.

Marzouki was elected by an elected assembly as the interim president of Tunisia in 2011 after the revolution which overthrew Ben Ali.

READ: 3 Tunisia parties accuse Saied of pressuring judiciary

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