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Tunisia: Ghannouchi under further investigation by anti-terrorism unit

The speaker of Tunisia's parliament Rached Ghannouchi speaks with AFP in the capital Tunis, on March 31, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
The speaker of Tunisia's parliament Rached Ghannouchi speaks with AFP in the capital Tunis, on March 31, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The leader of Ennahda movement in Tunisia, Rached Ghannouchi, has faced further investigation before the judge of the regional Anti-Terrorism Unit in the case involving allegations that Tunisian citizens were encouraged to go to areas known to be "hotbeds of tension". The session was supposed to have been held two months ago, but the judge postponed it and released the veteran politician on bail.

The investigations in this case started after former MP Fatima Al-Masdi of the Nidaa Tounes party filed a complaint in December 2021 to the military judiciary. It was then referred to the Counter-Terrorism Judicial Pole due to the presence of civilians among the defendants.

Ghannouchi also faces money laundering charges. His assets were frozen by a judge, as were the assets of a number of other figures, including former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

Ennahda's leader has denounced the charges brought against him as fabricated by the "dictatorship" in Tunisia which, he insists, "is living its last days."

Tunisia has been witnessing an ongoing political crisis since 25 July 2021, when President Kais Saied imposed exceptional measures which gave him full control over the legislature and the executive. He dissolved parliament and the Supreme Judicial Council, and has been issuing legislation by presidential decree.

Opposition parties, led by Ennahda, regard these measures as a "coup against the 2014 constitution and a consolidation of absolute individual rule." Saied's supporters, however, believe that they are a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution" which overthrew the regime of the former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

According to Saied, who started a five-year presidential term in 2019, his measures were "legal and necessary" to save Tunisia from "total collapse."

READ: Tunisia's Ghannouchi to appear before court in 'state security' case

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