Moncef Marzouki and others wanted for defamation and disclosure of identity of several judges

Tunis: Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and all those who participated with him in a press conference held abroad have been placed under investigation and on a wanted list, following the completion of preliminary investigations, spokesperson for the judicial anti-terrorism division, Hanen Gaddes, said on Monday. A unit specialising in the investigation of terrorist crimes found that Marzouki 'deliberately attacked state institutions and a number of judges in this conference, defaming them, attributing false things to them that affect their reputation and respect, and putting them on a list," Gaddes added. In a statement to TAP, Gaddes pointed out that the necessary judicial authorisation has been obtained for those who have the status of practicing lawyers and that an investigating judge (who is not included in the mentioned list) has been entrusted with the investigation and the issuance of the necessary legal notices. She explained that the defamed judges include a number of judges serving in th e anti-terrorism division, including prosecutors and first investigative judges, who are protected by the anti-terrorism law. Marzouki published the names and qualifications of these judges, endangering their lives due to their specialisation, which is a criminal offence under the provisions of Articles 71 and 78 of the Anti-Terrorism and Prevention of Money Laundering Law. On February 23, 2024, the Criminal Chamber of the Tunis Court of First Instance sentenced Marzouki in absentia to eight years in prison, according to spokesperson for the Tunis Court of First Instance, Mohamed Zitouna. The charges against him were 'assault with the aim of changing the form of the government and inciting the population to attack each other with weapons, to provoke disturbances, confusion, murder and looting on Tunisian soil', according to Article 72 of the penal code, he added. This followed the publication on social media of a speech he had delivered at a seminar abroad, in which the defendant called on state instituti ons to act and overthrow the government. It should be noted that on December 22, 2021, the Court of First Instance in Tunis sentenced Marzouki to four years' imprisonment in the first instance for his statements to the media abroad, in which he specifically called for the Francophone Summit not to be held in Tunisia. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse