Kais Saied Opens Corruption File in Tunisair

The Tunisian President affirms that the existing corruption within Tunisair is primarily aimed at undermining it and then selling it off, emphasizing that there is no room for compromising public institutions

Tunisian President Kais Saied called for the opening of all corruption files related to Tunisair during an unannounced meeting with the company’s CEO on Monday evening.

Saied called for cleansing Tunisair from appointments that do not meet legal requirements, revealing the existence of approximately 130 forged certificates for individuals who were integrated into the company, according to a statement from the presidency on Facebook.

During his visit, Saied highlighted a series of irregularities and violations, urging the opening of all corruption files related to Tunisair during his meeting with the CEO on Monday evening. He stressed the need to open the file of the Tunisian plane “Amilcar,” which he confirmed left the country in 2017 without return and without customs clearance, indicating that it is currently located in Florida.

This plane left the country without customs clearance and without a sales price declaration, and the President stated that the selling price was very low, estimated at $200,000. He pointed out that the plane left the airport without notification, and if the plane was unfit for use, it would not be in use at present.

He initiated an investigation into the Amilcar plane file, adding that no country in the world has had a plane leave and not return, according to his expression.

He pledged to investigate corruption related to this plane and other files, such as the disposal of spare parts and aircraft engines by sending them abroad (for repair), although they should be repaired in Tunisia, confirming that the existing corruption in Tunisair was primarily aimed at undermining it and then selling it off.

Saied emphasized during his conversation with the CEO of Tunisair that there is no room for compromising public institutions, stating, “Public institutions are not for sale.”

On the other hand, he called for ending the contracts of handling companies in Tunisair, stating that employees with handling contracts receive low wages of around 570 dinars, while handling company owners receive a large financial compensation for each employee of up to 1400 dinars.

The President considered that working with handling contracts is a form of slavery and trafficking in labor, pointing out that anyone seeking to starve workers is a criminal and must be pursued.

Tunisian President Kais Saied has accelerated the pace of revealing corruption files, providing numbers and data of utmost importance. He stated last December that dozens of corruption files reach him every day, covering several sectors such as transportation, health, pharmaceuticals, state properties, public contracts, and basic commodities, with numerous complaints reaching the presidency every single day.

He confirmed in a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmed Al-Hachani, Minister of Justice Leila Jaffal, and Minister of Finance Saham Al-Bugaidi that he intervenes every time, within the legal framework, to follow up on these files, where an investigation is opened in each file and the public prosecutor’s office is informed to take the necessary actions.

He emphasized in this context that corruption affects almost all sectors, considering that these files would not have reached the presidency if each party did not assume its responsibility, whether at the central, regional, or local level.

He continued, “There is a lack of a sense of duty and of the historic moment that the country is experiencing today… and what I present today from files represents only a small part of what exists in the Diwan.”

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