Tunisia’s former speaker Rached Ghannouchi questioned again by anti-terrorism unit

Mr Ghannouchi is one of 817 defendants in the case

Ennahda Islamist party leader Rachid Ghannouchi was expected to face interrogation over his suspected involvement in facilitating travel networks to Syria and Iraq. AFP
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Tunisia's former parliament speaker and Ennahda Islamist party leader Rachid Ghannouchi was expected to face interrogation over his suspected involvement in facilitating travel networks to hotbeds of tension and terrorism outside Tunisian soil.

The prosecution made the decision to refer Mr Ghannouchi to the Anti-Terrorism Judicial Pole in September, after he was initially interrogated by the Anti-Terrorism Central Unit in Bouchoucha.

Other former MPs are facing similar charges, including former Al-Karama Coalition MP Mohamed Affes, who was released last Tuesday after being placed under preliminary detention.

The investigation follows a complaint filed by former MP Fatma Mseddi over the involvement of figures including politicians, security officials, charities and imams in facilitating the travel of Tunisian youth to Syria and Iraq.

The case involved 817 defendants, according to a statement by Mr Ghannouchi's Defence Committee member, Samir Dilo, reported local radio station Mosaique.

Mr Ghannouchi has appeared multiple times before investigative judges for different accusations, including money-laundering charges, the most recent coming on Wednesday when he was questioned on a case relating to Ennahda’s alleged acquisition of foreign funds to finance their 2019 election campaign.

The case about helping youths to travel to Syria and Iraq has been the source of lots of controversy in Tunisia for the past decade, but has only recently resurfaced after Tunisian President Kais Saied consolidated powers in July 2021.

Ennahda party has denied the charges facing its founder, dubbing it as a tool to settle accounts with and retaliate against political opponents.

Updated: November 28, 2022, 4:10 PM
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