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Tunisia's Ennahda: Documents published by media prove innocence of deputy chairman

Former Tunisian Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri (R) speaks during a press conference in Tunis on 25 June 2012 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/GettyImages]
Former Tunisian Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri (R) speaks during a press conference in Tunis on 25 June 2012 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/GettyImages]

Documents published in the Arabic press regarding the accusations levelled against the Ennahda movement's deputy head, Noureddine Bhiri "prove his innocence", spokesperson of the party's Shura Council, Sana Mersni, said.

"These documents were issued in the name of the Tunisian state at the time, whether by the Ministry of Justice or Interior, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' approval, and with direct permission of the late President Habib Bourguiba," Mersni said in an exclusive statement to Arabi21.

She added that the documents confirm that there is no sense in his continued arbitrary and unjust detention.

In early January, Tunisian authorities arrested Bhiri, who previously served as minister of justice between 2011 and 2013. The Ministry of Interior attributed the procedure to reasons it said were "related to the protection of security and public order, in accordance with the emergency provisions applied within the country since 2015."

READ: Ennahda Movement warns of a 'plot' to prepare public opinion for Noureddine Bhiri's death

Tunisian prosecutors accuse Bhiri of issuing false identity documents to a Syrian couple while he was serving as justice minister, with one of the individuals previously linked to terrorist acts committed outside Tunisia.

Bhiri was the first senior leader of the Ennahda Movement to be detained by security forces since President Kais Saied dissolved parliament and took over executive powers in late July, in a step described by Ennahda and other parties as a "coup".

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