Security authorities in Tunisia arrested former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali on Tuesday morning, taking him to a military barracks related to counterterrorism efforts.
Sources revealed to “Al-Ain Al-Ikhbariya” that the Tunisian Public Prosecutor’s Office, specifically the “Anti-Terrorism Judicial Pole,” ordered the former prime minister’s arrest. Jebali is a prominent figure in the Ennahda Movement (a Tunisian Islamist political party). He is under investigation on suspicion of money laundering linked to members of the “Nahda Tunisia” charity association.
The same sources confirmed that Jebali was arrested at 8 AM local Tunisian time.
In June of last year, Jebali was previously detained and later released after questioning. Three other officials from a charity association were sentenced to prison on charges of “financing terrorism” in a case related to political assassination during the Ennahda’s rule.
The investigations in the case began with a complaint filed by the defense committee for leftist leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, who were assassinated in 2013. The complaint accused a charitable association of receiving foreign funding from unknown sources.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Tunisian Court of First Instance assigned the Economic and Financial Investigations Sub-Directorate of the Judicial Police to investigate the case. They initially heard statements from the complainant’s representative, Rida Al-Radawi, before later obtaining warrants related to the Central Bank and the Financial Analysis Committee, as well as a bank with foreign capital participation.
Upon completion of these steps, financial transactions involving transfers from abroad and withdrawal operations during a specified period, especially between 2013 and 2014, were documented. These transfers involved substantial amounts with unverified sources.
In earlier statements, Rida Al-Radawi, a member of the defense committee for Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, stated that the association established in 2011 under the name “Ennahdha Tunisia” aimed to encourage foreign investments. However, it became involved in the crime of facilitating terrorist travel (sending Tunisian youth to conflict and war zones), and preliminary criminal investigations were swiftly followed by the involvement of the Ennahdha Islamist movement through its judicial arm, Judge Bashir Al-Akrami. This effectively halted the legal process.
He explained that the association used “encouraging investment” as a cover, while its covert role was managing the battle of facilitating travel to terrorism hotspots through suspicious financial amounts deposited in its accounts.
He also pointed out that one of the accused parties is an individual named Najeh Al-Haj Latif, who manages the business of Ennahdha leader Rached Ghannouchi. He is one of its hidden arms and was previously the representative of a textile company in the capital, Tunis. This company was originally British but was expelled from it. However, during his management of it, he used its electronic account to manage suspicious administrative and financial activities with the Ennahdha movement.