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Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who ruled the country from 2011 to 2014, was sentenced on Wednesday December 22 in absentia to four years in prison. In the evening, from Paris, where he lives, Mr. Marzouki told the World to have learned the news by the press and not to have received “No summons” of justice that he describes as“Express and to orders”. His lawyer Lamia Khemiri also told Agence France-Presse that she had not been notified of this decision, and did not know the charge that motivated the sentence.
This conviction comes after the issue on November 4 of an international arrest warrant against Mr. Marzouki accused of having made comments “Going against the security of the State and harming the interests of Tunisia abroad”. During an interview with the France 24 channel in mid-October, he said to himself “Proud to have contributed to the postponement of the Francophonie summit”, scheduled for the end of November in Djerba and canceled, officially due to the health situation.
The former president explained that“To organize such an event in Tunisia after the putsch in Tunisia is to support dictatorship and tyranny”. He was referring to the exceptional regime in which Tunisia finds itself since the coup led by the current president, Kaïs Saïed, on July 25. In a context of political and health crisis, the Head of State, elected in October 2019, took full powers during the summer, using article 80 of the Constitution, which allows him to take decisions. “Exceptional measures” in case of “Imminent danger threatening the country”. Five months later, Tunisia is still under an emergency regime. The freeze on Parliament has been extended, and while a constitutional referendum and legislative elections are scheduled for 2022, the country remains ruled by decrees, with no recourse possible.
” A shame “
In this context, Moncef Marzouki has established himself as one of the most virulent critics of Kaïs Saïed, by multiplying the attacks in the media and on social networks. On several occasions, he described the Head of State as a “coup leader”, going so far as to question his sanity. In an interview on Wednesday, before the announcement of his conviction, to a community radio station in southern Tunisia, he explained that he voted for Kaïs Saied in 2019, but that with the events of July 25, “This one has lost its legitimacy” and “Represents a danger”. In the evening, he reiterated his remarks on his Facebook page, speaking of Kaïs Saïed as a president. “Illegitimate” and a “Dictator”.
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