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.

 

Kerry seeks to allay Gulf states’ fears on Iran

Assad likens himself to Superman

Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

Turkey will not take part in Iraq offensive to retake Mosul

Dubai launches first 3D pavement art festival

Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen freed

Mali rebel groups urged to sign peace deal

At least 34 dead in Syria rebel attack on intel HQ

Libya declares force majeure at 11 oil fields

Iran’s regional influence ‘not negiotiable’

Women protest for peace ahead of Israel election

Concerns rise over civilians’ safety in Iraq military operation

UN invites Libya leaders for crisis talks in Algeria

Israel to double water quota to Gaza ‘within days’

Abbas: Palestinians ready to talk with "whoever" wins Israel election

Fire at Cairo convention centre injures 19 people

US, Iran wrap up three days of intense nuclear negotiations

EU reviews policy in response to Ukraine, Arab Spring

IAEA delegation to hold talks in Tehran on March 9

Tunisia rescues 86 African migrants at sea

Saudi executing at 'unprecedented' pace

Turkish Airlines plane skids off Nepal runway

British former marine 'killed' in Syria

Iran slams boring Netanyahu's continuous lie-spreading in US speech

'Saudi prince' New York apartment on sale for $48.5m

Libyan militants take control of two oil fields

Washington lauds Iran's role in Iraq

Netanyahu warns Congress: Nuclear deal will free Iran to develop weapons

Bottle of juice vs. outspoken critic of Israel domestic policies

UN approves sanctions regime for South Sudan

Arab states to mull creation of joint force against ‘Islamic State’

Libya tit-for-tat airstrikes target airport, oil terminal

Iran holds memorial service for ‘Afghan volunteers’ killed in Syria

South Sudan general accused of abducting child soldiers

Netanyahu takes fight over Iran nuclear ambitions to Congress

UN delegation meets Aleppo governor to push ‘freeze’ plan

Yemen leader proposes reconciliation talks to be moved to Saudi

Jihadists use urban warfare to slow Tirkit adavance

Libya warplanes strike militia-controlled airport

Egypt court cancels call for parliamentary elections in March

Saudi diplomat kidnapped by Qaeda in Yemen released

South Sudan's oil wells pose environmental hazard

Obama lashes out at Netanyahu over Iran

Tunisia blogger jailed for 6 months for defaming army

US controlling ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels