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Tunisia issues international arrest warrants against 12 ex-officials

September 13, 2023 at 11:03 am

Tunisian President Kais Saied in Djerba Island, Tunisia [Mohamed Mdalla/Anadolu Agency]

The Tunisian judiciary yesterday issued international arrest warrants against 12 people, including former Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, on charges of “forming a terrorist alliance and conspiring against the state.”

The spokeswoman for the Anti-Terrorism Judicial Pole, Hanan Qaddas, said: “International subpoena [arrest] warrants were issued against 12 fugitives, all of whom were proven to be outside Tunisian territory.”

Qaddas said that the arrest warrants were issued against former Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, former Director of the Presidential Office Nadia Akacha, son of Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi, Moadh Ghannouchi, and former officials Kamal Al-Qizani, Maher Zaid, Lotfi Zeytoun, Abdelkader Farahat amongst others.

On 30 May, Nadia Akacha said her name “was included in a list of people with whom she had nothing in common.”

She added: “Since my resignation, I have chosen to respect the duty of discretion, and I have stayed away for several reasons, but I will return and express what I need to so that Tunisians know who the traitor is and who the conspirator is.”

READ: Tunisia arrests spokesperson of Ennahda movement

Akacha was considered the “closest confidant” of President Kais Saied, until she quit the position of director of his office last year and moved to France before leaked audio recordings emerged in which she strongly criticised Saied.

Since last February, Tunisia has witnessed a campaign of arrests, including politicians, media professionals, activists, judges and businessmen.

The Tunisian president accuses those arrested of “conspiring against state security and being behind the crises in the distribution of goods and rising prices.” However, the opposition accuses him of using the judiciary to prosecute those who object to the exceptional measures he imposed on 25 July 2021.

Under these measures, Saied dissolved the previous elected parliament and the elected Supreme Judicial Council.