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Tunisia’s Ghannouchi in Court Again over Alleged Extremist Links

Tunisia’s Ghannouchi in Court Again over Alleged Extremist Links

Monday, 28 November, 2022 - 15:45
Rached Ghannouchi, the head of Tunisia's Ennahda party and speaker of the dissolved parliament, gestures after his questioning at the office of the counter-terrorism prosecutor in Tunis, Tunisia, 21 September 2022. (EPA)

The speaker of Tunisia's dissolved parliament appeared on Monday before a judge investigating accusations his party helped Tunisian extremists travel to fight in Iraq and Syria.  


Rached Ghannouchi, an arch-rival of President Kais Saied and also head of the Islamist-inspired Ennahda party, arrived in the morning at the anti-terror court in a suburb of the capital Tunis, said one of his lawyers, Mokhtar Jemai.  


At the end of the hearing, the judge is expected to decide whether or not to charge the 81-year-old. 


Several other Ennahdha officials have been questioned on the "shipment of extremists" case since Saied sacked the Ennahda-supported government and seized full executive authority in July 2021.  


After Tunisia's 2011 revolt, thousands of Tunisians joined extremist groups in neighboring Libya as well as the ISIS group in its strongholds in Iraq and Syria.  


Rivals of Ennahda, which dominated Tunisian politics from 2011 until Saied's power grab, accuse the party of helping them leave.  


The party has repeatedly rejected those accusations as "fabricated" and says authorities are trying to distract public attention from "economic and social concerns and the deterioration of people's living conditions".  


Ghannouchi also appeared before a judge on November 10 as part of a case involving money-laundering and "incitement to violence". 


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