Tunisia court sentences ex-president to 8 years in absentia

World Saturday 24/February/2024 12:14 PM
By: DW
Tunisia court sentences ex-president to 8 years in absentia

Tunis: A court in Tunisia sentenced former President Moncef Marzouki to eight years in prison on Friday after he was found guilty in absentia of seeking to "provoke disorder."

Marzouki, who was Tunisia's first democratically elected head of state after the country's 2011 Arab Spring  revolution, lives in France and was not present at the hearing.

A spokesperson for the court said the verdict was based on statements by Marzouki that included incitement in a speech he gave in Paris.

Marzouki was previously sentenced to four years in absentia in 2021 after he called for France to end its support for strongman President Kais Saied.

Saied, who was elected democratically in 2019, began a crackdown in 2021 that saw him dismiss the prime minister, dissolve parliament, detain opposition figures and push through constitutional changes to grant himself more power.

Since then, Marzouki has stepped up his criticisms of the president, calling Saied a "dictator" who has to be overthrown.

Saied claims his actions were necessary to save Tunisia from years of chaos and has dismissed critics as criminals, traitors and terrorists.