First Published: 2013-02-28

 

Tunisia president testifies in Belaid murder probe

 

Belaid’s brother insists Marzouki knows who ordered opposition leader's murder, those who decided to kill him.

 

Middle East Online

Did he or didn't he know?

TUNIS - Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Thursday testified in the murder probe of Chokri Belaid, his office said in a statement, after the opposition leader's family said he had received death threats.

"President Moncef Marzouki received this morning the judge of the Tunis first instance tribunal who heard his testimony as a witness in the assassination of Chokri Belaid," said a brief statement.

The family of Belaid, who was gunned down outside his Tunis home on February 6, say the president was aware the vocal critic of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda had received threats before his murder.

But presidential spokesman Adnene Mancer denied these claims when they were first made following the assassination.

On Thursday, Belaid's brother, Abdelmajid Belaid, repeated the claims to AFP.

"My brother had told me, and I quote him: 'The presidency has contacted me to tell me that I am threatened with death. And the president offered me protection but I refused because it would be tantamount to controlling me'," he said.

"As far as I am concerned, the president knows who ordered the murder, those who decided to kill Chokri," he added.

Tunisia says radical Salafist Muslims murdered Belaid.

Interior Minister Ali Larayedh, who is also prime-minister designate, said Tuesday the killer of the leftist opposition leader had been identified and four suspects arrested.

Those held were "Tunisians and belong to a radical religious strand... which we refer to as the Salafist movement," said Larayedh.

But some family members have dismissed any involvement of Salafists in the assassination, insisting Ennahda was responsible -- a claim the Islamist party staunchly denies.

Belaid's murder sparked deadly street protests and strikes and exposed the widening fissures between the ruling Islamists and liberals.

It also threw Tunisia into its worst political crisis since the revolution two years ago that ousted strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, prompting prime minister Hamadi Jebali to resign last week.

 

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe

UN urges de-escalation in Iraq

Haley: Iran must be judged in totality of its aggressive behaviour

EU says Israeli settlements illegal under international law

Kurdish independence goes from dream to dust

Female commander more than just poster girl for Raqa victory

Saudi airline flies to Baghdad for first time in 27 years

Wanted Dead: France's approach to IS jihadists