Tunis’ Court of First Instance opened a corruption case involving 17 former ministers and businessmen, most of whom are relatives of ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
Judicial investigation focused on a number of senior political and security officials with ties to the former regime. Figures include former prime minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, former economic adviser to the presidency Mongi Safra, former presidential security chief Ali al-Soryati, former Minister of Religious Affairs Bechir Tekkari, former director-general of Tunisian Diwan Slimane Ourak and Minister of State Property and Real Estate Affairs Ridha Grira.
Most of the lawyers asked for a postponement to take more time to consider the charges and prepare their defense.
Observers believe the lawyers are seeking to delay the sessions in an attempt to gain time until the enactment of a legislative amnesty that includes them. They also cited Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi’s call for “comprehensive national reconciliation” between the symbols of the former regime and leftist leaders.
The full original article can be found at aawsat.com
(Photo: Reuters file photo)