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.

 

US approves $7 billion in arms deals to Arab allies

US says 50,000 IS jihadists killed in Iraq, Syria since 2014

Six killed in Egypt bomb blast

British FM says Saudi, Iran engaging in 'proxy wars'

Qatar to invest up to $13bn on 'mega projects' in 2017

Regime air strikes resume on east Aleppo after 'pause'

Erdogan urges Turks to step up efforts to boost lira

IS kills 49 Syrian army members near Palmyra

UN says hundreds of Aleppo escapees missing, rebels block others from leaving

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ to have surgery in India

Israeli army admits Hezbollah map just ‘illustration’

Saudi soldier killed by landmine near Yemen border

Shadow of executed Shiite cleric looms in Saudi hometown

Russia vows no let-up in Aleppo assault while 'bandits' remain

400 migrants storm Spanish enclave border

IS claims Egypt cleric murders, threatens Sufis

UN Syria envoy planning to meet Trump team

Israel arrests alleged Hamas kidnap plotters

Greek court rejects extraditing last two Turkish 'coup' officers

Russian student faces jail after following IS lover to Syria

Yazidi leader calls on international community to help

UN reiterates fears for Aleppo children

Libya finds 266 IS bodies in former jihadist bastion Sirte

Turkey targets German diplomats at airports in revenge move

Aleppo White Helmets call for safe passage

Germany seeks to conclude training deal with Saudi

Egypt arrests son of former Islamist president

Israel joins forces with Greece, Cyprus to fight fire

Erdogan advisor says foreign TV chefs are spies

'No progress' in Kerry, Lavrov Syria meeting

Air force strikes IS fighters in western Iraq

Saudi arms self sufficiency may take years says chief

IS kills at least 26 Syrian regime fighters in Homs

Rosneft shares leap after deal with Glencore, Qatar

150 rescued from Aleppo health facility

Russia demands jail for student accused of trying to join IS

IS video reveals kidnapped British journalist alive

Two Hamas militants killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Israel votes to approve settler homes bill

Dozens of civilians killed in Iraq air strike

Syrian regime confident of Aleppo victory

Libya's key oil region threatened by renewed fighting

Syria rebels call for Aleppo ceasefire

Rebel rockets scar west Aleppo residents

Egypt jails prominent NGO activist