A man holds up a Tunisian flag during a demonstration in Tunis
A man holds up a Tunisian flag during a demonstration in Tunis. Tunisia has fired its public prosecutor after a senior ally of the ousted Ben Ali regime was able to leave the country despite facing criminal investigations © Fethi Belaid - AFP/File
A man holds up a Tunisian flag during a demonstration in Tunis
AFP
Last updated: August 10, 2011

Prosecutor fired after ex-regime ally leaves Tunisia

Tunisia has fired its public prosecutor after a senior ally of the ousted Ben Ali regime was able to leave the country despite facing criminal investigations, the justice ministry said Tuesday.

Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi had found incompetence on the part of Nejib Maaoui and decided he had to be replaced, a ministry spokesman said.

This comes after Saida Agrebi, a high-profile ally of the regime of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali that fell in January, was able to leave Tunisia on July 30 despite government orders for her to be investigated.

"On July 18 the Minister of Finance Jalloul Ayad laid a complaint against Agrebi for 'financial corruption' but the state prosecutor only started the investigation on August 3," said the spokesman, Chokri Nafti.

Through the Tunisian Mothers' Association charity, the US-educated Agrebi issued propaganda backing Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi, who both fled on January 14 amid a popular revolt.

They have been tried in absentia for crimes including misappropriating public funds, and sentenced to hefty jail terms.

Agrebi's departure, while several other allies and relatives of the former presidential couple are under arrest, was strongly criticised by the media and political parties.

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