The Tunisian judiciary has ordered the imprisonment of former Environment Minister Riadh Mouakher pending investigations into a case of financial and administrative corruption.
Mosaique FM radio station announced on Friday that the first investigating judge of the Judicial and Financial Authority issued an imprisonment order against Mouakher after investigations that lasted days. The case relates to suspicions of financial and administrative corruption in one of the public deals concluded by the Ministry of Environment after Mouakher assumed his responsibility as a minister.
The security authorities in Tunisia arrested Mouakher at the end of last month as part of an expanded arrest campaign targeting opposition figures in Tunisia.
Mouakher sparked controversy during his term as a minister of environment when he decided to ban the use of plastic bags, which was considered a blow to the industrialists in this sector and a service in favour of influential parties.
Mouakher was the minister of local affairs and environment in the government of Youssef Chahed (2016 to 2019) and was also one of the founders of the Afek Tounes party.
Tunisia has been suffering a political crisis since Saied imposed exceptional measures on 25 July, 2021, which were rejected by the majority of the country's political and civil forces.
The most prominent measures included dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council and Parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, approving a new Constitution through a referendum in July 2022 and holding early legislative elections last December.
Saied began a five-year presidential term in 2019 and asserted that his measures are "necessary and legal" to save the state from "total collapse."
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