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.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’