By BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA, Related Press
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The chief of Tunisia’s predominant opposition get together has been questioned by the nation’s counterterrorism unit Tuesday on suspicion of cash laundering and terrorism financing by way of an affiliation charity.
It’s unclear how lengthy the counterterrorism hearings may final for Rached Ghannouchi, 81, who’s the chief of the Islamist Ennahdha get together. Critics imagine it may result in his arrest — or a trial.
Exterior the listening to within the capital, Tunis, Ghannouchi’s supporters decried the proceedings as a sham orchestrated by authorities.
Offended demonstrators held placards studying: “No to political trials,” “Down with the putsch” and “Saied get out,” in allusion to the distinctive measures taken by President Kais Saied that he claimed had been to “cleanse the nation of corruption that plagues all of the cogs of the state.”
Saied suspended parliament final 12 months and seized broad powers in a transfer that he stated was essential to “save the nation” from a political and financial disaster. This prompted criticism from the opposition, which accuses him of shunning democracy and a slide towards totalitarianism.
Ghannouchi was amongst a dozen prime get together officers whose financial institution accounts the north African nation’s central financial institution froze earlier this month. Ennahdha vehemently disputes the accusations of cash laundering and terrorism financing.
Ennahdha has stated all these accusations are aimed toward distracting consideration from a July 25 referendum deliberate by Saied to alter the structure to enhance presidential powers and scale back the position of the parliament and prime minister. The president’s critics say he’s attempting to legitimize a “coup.”
One Ennahdha official, former Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri, arrived on the listening to Tuesday and stated he feared “a attainable detention of Ghannouchi.”
Bhiri was in energy within the aftermath of the revolution that introduced down the federal government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 amid protests that impressed the Arab Spring motion.
The Ennahdha get together printed a press release on its web site attributed to its president through which he denounced “the slander and shenanigans” of Saied’s presidency.
Saied and a few others blamed Ennahdha partially for Tunisia’s political disaster final 12 months. Ennahdha, which dominated parliament earlier than it was suspended, is among the many president’s fiercest critics.
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