Tunisia launches investigation into claims US funded President Kais Saied's 2019 campaign

Tunisia launches investigation into claims US funded President Kais Saied's 2019 campaign
The explosive allegations were first made by MP Rached Khiari on a live video released on Monday.
2 min read
21 April, 2021
Tunisian President Kais Saied has come under heavy fire this week [Getty]

Tunisian President Kais Saied is under legal investigation over allegations that his 2019 presidential campaign received funding from the United States, a former presidential campaign aide has confirmed.

Faouzi Daas, who directed Saied’s electoral campaign, said the inquiry was launched on Tuesday, according to Anadolu.

The allegations were made against Saied by independent Islamist parliamentarian Rached Khiari.

Refusing to discuss specifics, Khiari told the Arabic news website Arabi21 that the president did not appear before the military court, but that six lawyers represented him in his stead.

Daas, who said he attended the court session on Tuesday, said he would be suing Khiari over the claims that he accepted foreign money.

Read more: How poverty and corruption are pushing Tunisia's disenfranchised youth back to the streets 

Khiari made the allegations in a live video on Monday stating he had documents, plus photographic and video proof that Saied received approximately $5 million via Daas.

He alleged that the funds were given to Daas by a US intelligence operative in exchange for Saied’s cooperation with Washington’s priorities, then under the presidency of Donald Trump.

Khiari claims the Tunisian president subsequently broke his commitment to the US in favour of France, prompting the former to provide the evidence he alleged is in his possession.

Khiari also alleged that the president’s brother, Naoufel Saied, was informed by the US that his sibling had won a day before the election.

The Tunisian president has been under heavy fire this week, after he claimed his control of the military extended to domestic security forces.

After the move, he was accused of launching a “soft coup” and of “violating the constitution” by opposition politicians.

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