Tunisia: Lotfi Nagdh’s widow calls on President Essebsi and Nidaa Tounes to step down
Wife of assassinated Nidaa Tounes member and figure Lotfi Nagdh has called on President Caid Essebsi and members of his party to step down as she accused the party of favouring power over justice after a Sousse court cleared culprits and suspects judged responsible of her husband death in 2012.
The lower court of Sousse on Monday cleared four men arrested in 2012 and 2013 in connection to the death of Nagdh. The men according to the tribunal spokesperson, Raouf Yousfi were handed heavy sentences but had been cleared after spending equal time in prison.
Six other accused had been released though they were handed prison sentences ranging from four months to one year. They had been freed after spending detention period covering the prison terms.
Nagdh leader of Nidaa Tounes at Tataouine, in the south of the country, was killed on the sidelines of a riot between his members and a group militia linked to Islamist party Ennahda, in power at the time.
President Caid Essebsi then president of Nidaa Tounes condemned the assassination which he called a political assassination. He also finger-pointed the Islamist party for the slaughter.
Tuesday ruling stirred indignation and condemnations across Tunisia. Nagdh’s widow argued that the judges suffered pressure from the Islamist party. Nagdh’s wife regretted that Essebsi’s Nidaa Tounes in coalition with the Islamist party chose power over justice.
“It is Rached Ghannouchi, his party and allies who applied pressure over four years,” she stressed.
“Shame on you” If you still have a grain of honour and dignity, step down,
“They sealed an alliance with Rached Ghannouchi who set not long ago Tunisians against one another, sew chaos; said Nidaa Tounes was more dangerous than Salafists. How can you live in peace in this country given these treasons?”
The prosecutor’s office in Sousse launched an appeal against the ruling. Lawyers of Nagdh’s family have also rejected the court decision.
“For us it is a disaster,” said Mourad Dalech, one of lawyers.
Following the court decision, youth of Nidaa Tounes in Sousse issued a statement denouncing the decision and announced their resignation from the party. They argued that they could no longer belong to a party that is unable to protect its members.