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Tunisia opens probe into former head of anti-graft body, 3 lawmakers

Investigations to be held as Tunisia undergoes crisis with gov't dismissed, parliament frozen

Yousra Ounas   | 29.07.2021
Tunisia opens probe into former head of anti-graft body, 3 lawmakers

TUNIS, Tunisia

Judicial authorities in Tunisia launched an investigation on Thursday into the former chief of the country's anti-corruption commission and three members of parliament.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, the spokesman of the Court of Appeal in the capital Tunis, Habib Tarkhani, said the investigation against National Anti-Corruption Commission head Chawki Tabib had been opened over suspicions of "fraud."

These suspicions involve the content of a report related to the alleged conflict of interest involving former Prime Minister Elyas Fakhakh for having shares in a company engaged in commercial deals with the government.

In July 2020, the Observatory of Transparency and Good Governance said Fakhakh was part of a conflict of interest regarding a government deal with the National Agency for Waste Recycling.

The spokesman added that Tabib would be also questioned based on a complaint from the Observatory of Transparency and Good Governance on administrative and financial irregularities in the commission during his term.

He also said an investigation would be opened into lawmaker Seifeddine Makhlouf, from the Al-Karama Coalition bloc, upon a complaint from the security in Tunis-Carthage International Airport.

The case dates back to March 15, when members of the Al-Karama Coalition allegedly caused "chaos and riots" in the airport over a ban on a Tunisian citizen from traveling.

Two other lawmakers, Khaled Krichi and Mabrouk Korchid, are also being questioned over an accusation of "manipulating in arbitration agreements that included conflict of interest and corruption cases."

Authorities have yet to comment.

Tunisia is undergoing a severe crisis as Tunisian President Kais Saied on Sunday dismissed the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze the parliament and assumed executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.


*Ahmed Asmar in Ankara contributed to this report

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