Former Minister convicted on graft charges
Publish date: 15 May 2017
Issue Number: 725
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A Tunis court has sentenced former Defence Minister Ridha Grira to six years' imprisonment for corruption. Judicial spokesperson Sofiene Sliti said the 61-year-old ‘fugitive’ was also ordered to pay a fine of $164 000. A report on the News24 site notes that Grira was jailed in September 2011 for his role in corruption cases linked to the Ben Ali regime which was overthrown in a popular uprising that year. However, a court ordered his release the following year as he was suffering from cancer.
More than 2 000 protesters marched in Tunis on Saturday over a proposed amnesty Bill that would see businessmen accused of corruption under ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali walk free. At the demonstration against the Economic Reconciliation Bill, the protesters claimed it would contradict the spirit of Tunisia's 2011 revolution. However, a report on the Al Jazeera site notes that government officials said a pardon would be a way for the businessmen to inject their fraudulent money back into the country's economy. The draft Bill was proposed by Tunisia President Beji Caid Essebsi but it has been stuck in Parliament for the last two years.