The Vice President of Ennahda Movement in Tunisia, Ali Laarayedh, said yesterday that he trusts in the judiciary "to be fair" to him, the movement and its President Rached Ghannouchi, Anadolu has reported. Laarayedh was speaking in the context of the allegations that the two Ennahda officials have been involved in sending Tunisians to "hotbeds" of terrorism, namely Iraq and Syria.
"Ennahda is not only sinless in this case, but it is also proactive in taking all measures to combat such a phenomenon," he told journalists. "When I was Minister of the Interior [from December 2011 until March 2013], I was the one who classified Ansar Al-Sharia as a terrorist organisation and prepared a plan to confront it. Moreover, at a time when the haters are trying to accuse me and the movement of terrorism, they are ignoring the terrorists' classification of me as their enemy since 2012. They even tried to kill me."
Laarayedh confirmed his belief that the judiciary in Tunisia is now under "pressure from the authority and exclusionary political groups" but he wasn't specific about who he meant.
On Thursday, the investigating anti-terrorism judge in Tunis decided to postpone the hearing of Laarayedh's case until 19 December. He was released in the meantime.
The Tunisian authorities have not commented on Laarayedh's statements.