A Tunisian judge has opened a new investigation into political figures in the case known as “the conspiracy against state security.”
The 20 people accused in the new case include the main opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi, who is already in prison, former prime minister Youssef Chahed and President Kais Saied's ex-chief of staff Nadia Akacha.
The list also reportedly includes a former mayor of a Tunis district, a former military officer and a freelance journalist.
Akacha was seen as Saied's closest confidante until she left the role of chief of staff last year and moved to France before leaked audio recordings emerged of her voicing strong criticisms of Saied.
Tunisia's opposition accuses Saied of a coup for shutting down the parliament in 2021, moving to rule by decree and passing a new constitution through a referendum with low turnout, giving himself nearly unchecked powers.
Rights groups have also accused him of undermining judicial independence by replacing main figures on Tunisia's top judiciary committee and warning that judges who freed those arrested this year would be considered as abetting them.
Akacha has recently announced that she would return to Tunisia’s political scene and would divulge information “so that Tunisians find out who’s the traitor and who has conspired” against the state.