Tunisia Prosecutor Rejects Request to Arrest Ennahda Deputy Leader : Adviser

Request to issue arrest warrant for Noureddine Bhairi rejected due to ‘lack of evidence’, Tunisian adviser says

Tunisia’s public prosecutor has rejected a request by President Kais Saied to arrest Ennahda deputy leader Noureddine Bhairi, a Tunisian adviser said Sunday.

Bhairi has been placed under house arrest for his alleged involvement in terrorism-related activities.

In a Facebook post, Riadh Chaibi, an adviser to Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi, said the Tunisian president had asked the country’s public prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant for Bhairi.

“But the public prosecutor rejected the request due to lack of evidence,” he said.

There was no comment from Tunisian authorities on the claim.

On Monday, Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine placed Bhairi and a ministry official under house arrest over accusations of issuing false identity documents to a Syrian couple while he was serving as justice minister, with one of the individuals previously linked to terrorist cases committed outside Tunisian territory.

Ennahda party, the largest party in the now-suspended Tunisian parliament, termed the accusations against Bhairi as “politicized” and called for his immediate release.

Bhairi, 63, was transferred to Habib Bougatfa Hospital in the northern city of Bizerte after his health deteriorated due to his hunger strike in protest of his detention.

Saied ousted the government on July 25, 2021, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority. While he insists that his “exceptional measures” are meant to “save” the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.

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