Tunisian judge summons Ennahda chief over money laundering charges

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Tunisia’s main opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi has been summoned to stand before an investigative judge on July 19 over money laundering allegations, a member of the Islamist Ennahda party said on Wednesday.

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The party said Ghannouchi did not hold any illegal funds and said the case against him was aimed at targeting political opponents of President Kais Saied.

The July 19 summons is to answer questions about the allegations, which Ennahda say are untrue. Reuters could not immediately reach a judiciary spokesperson.

Ghannouchi has emerged as a critic of Kais Saied since the president seized broad powers last year, moved to rule by decree and ousted the elected parliament in which the Ennahda leader is speaker.

Earlier this year, Saied moved to take ultimate authority over the judiciary, replacing the body that guaranteed its independence and sacking dozens of judges.

Ghannouchi’s court date is less than a week before Saied holds a referendum on a new constitution that he has written, a referendum that Ennahda says it will boycott.

Saied has said his actions were needed to save Tunisia from years of political paralysis and economic stagnation, and that his constitution will uphold people’s rights and freedoms.

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