Former Tunisian speaker Rached Ghannouchi to be questioned again by anti-terrorism unit

Ennahda party leader is accused of demonising the country's security forces

Rached Ghannouchi, right, is accused of referring to Tunisian police as tyrants. Reuters
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Tunisia's former parliament speaker and Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi faces interrogation over allegations that he referred to the country's security forces as tyrants.

This follows an official complaint filed by a police union.

The prosecution in September referred Mr Ghannouchi to the country's judicial centre, which was set up to fight organised crime and terrorism, after he was initially questioned by the National Guard's anti-terrorism unit in L'Aouina.

The investigating judge at the anti-terrorism unit on Thursday postponed the questioning to February 21, 2023, after a request filed by Mr Ghannouchi's lawyers.

Mr Ghannouchi used the word tyrant in February during a eulogy to an Ennahda party leader in the Tunisian south.

During his speech, Mr Ghannouchi said he was “not afraid of the tyrant during his lifetime” — a statement that the aggrieved police union considered a reference to members of the Tunisian security establishment.

Members of militant groups that have attacked and killed members of Tunisia's security forces, including the military and national guard, have been known to use the word tyrant to incite their followers to attack Tunisian security.

Mr Ghannouchi has appeared before investigative judges on various charges, including money laundering.

The most recent was on November 28, when he was questioned in a case in which he was accused of sending Tunisians to terrorism hot spots outside the country.

Updated: December 29, 2022, 1:34 PM
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