Before the end of August, Tunisian President Kais Saied called for extending the freeze on looted funds, which are supposed to be unfrozen by the end of last month.
During a meeting with Tunisian Minister of State for Property and Real Estate Affairs Mohamed Al-Raqiq and the general in charge of state disputes, Ali Abbas, Saied said, “Any delay could benefit those who have plundered the Tunisian people’s money over decades.”
Saied pointed out that this money was enough to keep Tunisia out of the current economic crisis, explaining, “They have the people’s money and they want to lend us on their terms,” meaning Tunisia’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
The presidency’s statement explained that the meeting between Saied and the officials touched on the procedures and conditions of the countries and banks in which the “stolen” funds are located, adding that some of them “want a judgment in person against the accused while they know with certainty that these people are fugitives abroad.”
Diplomacy and judiciary
In the same context, Saied stressed the necessity of paralleling diplomatic work with judicial work, and that “these issues must be raised within the framework of international and regional organizations to unify the positions of countries affected by the seizure of their people’s wealth.”
Unlike the efforts of President Saied, whose presidential term expires in October 2024, the story of frozen funds dates back to the period after the revolution, and despite all the efforts that were said at the time to recover the funds, all efforts did not result in their return.
Added to the list of accusations against Ennahda is obstructing the return of the stolen funds, as Tunisian analysts and newspapers monitored Ennahda’s role in not returning the funds due to the fact that it was the party with the most control in the aftermath of the revolution.
Economist Hussein al-Ruhaili said in media statements that the report of the fact-finding committee on the looted funds was buried by Ennahda to cover up for 400 businessmen involved in plundering public money.
Blackmail practiced by Brotherhood
While Ruhaili referred to the blackmail practiced by the movement on the plunderers to support it in exchange for silence on their files, Tunisian activist Sarah Brahmi told the Reference that Ennahda’s goal is power, for which it will do anything.
In the wake of the revolution, Ennahda tried to consolidate its rule by once again attracting political parties or seeking the support of businessmen.
President Saied had previously called on those involved in acts of corruption and plunder to make a penal reconciliation, while pledging to establish development projects in poor areas.
It is noteworthy that Saied’s previous presidential program included holding the corrupt and those involved in plundering public money accountable, while demanding that they return stolen funds.