Tunisian court sentences ex-president Marzouki to prison in absentia


Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki submits his candidacy for the presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia, August 7, 2019. REUTERS / Zoubeir Souissi / File Photo

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TUNIS, December 22 (Reuters) – A Tunisian court on Wednesday handed down a verdict in absentia sentencing former President Moncef Marzouki to four years in prison after criticizing President Kais Saied and calling for a protest.

The court sentenced Marzouki for “undermining the external security of the state,” according to the state news agency TAP.

Marzouki, who lives in Paris, called Saied’s takeover in July a coup, called for protests against him and demanded that a large international meeting of francophone countries be moved from Tunisia.

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Saied has dismissed accusations that his seizure of power, the suspension of parliament and his plan to change the constitution constitute a coup. He said he had acted to end a prolonged political paralysis and that a referendum would be called next year on a new constitution, followed by parliamentary elections.

Foreign donors needed to help tackle a looming Tunisian public finance crisis urged Saied to restore normal constitutional order and said democracy and freedom of speech are important for their relations with the African country. North.

After the 2011 Tunisian revolution that introduced democracy, an elected assembly appointed Marzouki interim president, overseeing the transition to a new constitution in 2014.

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Reporting by Tarek Amara, written by Angus McDowall, editing by Mark Heinrich

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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