Monday, December 05, 2022

Tunisian police arrested former PM Jebali on suspicion of money laundering

Tunisian police on Thursday arrested former prime minister Hamadi Jebali, who is also a former senior member of the Ennahda Islamic party, on suspicion of money laundering, his lawyer told Reuters.

According to a statement from his family on Facebook, police in Sousse city confiscated Jebali’s phone and that of his wife and took her to an undisclosed location.

The Interior Ministry declined to comment on Jebali’s arrest. The ministry called a press conference on Friday without giving any details.

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Jebali’s defense team said they had met him at their detention center investigating terrorism crimes.

Jebali’s lawyer Mokhtar Zemai said, “Jebali told us that he would not answer investigators’ questions and went on hunger strike because the issue has a political motive and has nothing to do with money laundering.”

Ennahda was the largest party in Tunisia’s parliament before President Kais Saied dissolved the assembly last year and seized executive powers, a move the party and other critics denounced as a coup. Said said the move was temporary and needed to save Tunisia from being viewed as a corrupt, self-serving elite.

“The president is personally responsible for Jebali’s physical and psychological well-being, and called on civil society and human rights organizations to stand up against these repressive practices,” his family said in a Facebook post.

Jebali was prime minister in 2012 and resigned in 2013 after a political crisis.

Earlier this year, police arrested Ennahda Party vice-president Noureddin Bhairi for more than two months before releasing him without charge.

Read more:

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