Tunisia opens judicial investigations against number of MPs, lawyers

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The Tunisian judiciary has opened an investigation against the former President of the National Anti-Corruption Authority Chawki Tabib, three members of parliament, and a number of lawyers in various cases ranging from fraud to administrative and financial corruption and abuse of power.

The spokesperson for the Court of Appeal in Tunis, Habib Tarkhani, said in a statement to the Agence Tunis-Afrique-Presse news agency that the General Prosecutor of the Court of Appeal authorized on Thursday the Public Prosecutor of the Court of First Instance in Tunis to open an investigation against Tabib regarding a complaint submitted by Vivan company linked to “suspicion of fraud and deception.”

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Tarkhani explained that the aforementioned suspicion relates to the content of the National Anti-Corruption Authority report related to the conflict of interests of former Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh and a general deal concluded with the National Agency for Waste Disposal, indicating that the request for permission to track the complainant was submitted to the General Agency of the Court of Appeal on July 19, 2021.

The spokesman added that the Court of First Instance in Tunis was also authorized to open an investigation against Tabib in his capacity as a lawyer, regarding the complaint submitted on “many breaches of the financial and administrative behavior of the authority during the time of Tabib’s presidency.”

Tunisian President Kais Saied, who has been accused by critics of a coup for taking over governing powers, still has not announced the appointment of a new prime minister or how he intends to handle the emergency period that he announced on Sunday when he cited a national emergency to dismiss the premier and suspend parliament.

Streets of Tunisian cities appeared calm on Thursday after major parties decided earlier in the week to avoid any major protests or confrontations for now, and after Saied imposed stricter COVID-19 measures.

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