Former Tunisian PM denies claims he embezzled British grant
Youssef Chahed, a former Tunisian Prime Minister denied media reports that he misused in 2018 a British grant for his own benefit, during his term in office, Business News reports.
“The government never received any money or British donation of $18 million. This is all a work of pure imagination,” Chahed who led the country as Prime Minister from 2016 to 2020, said in a statement.
His reaction comes amid ongoing state investigations into embezzlement of grants and loans accorded to the North African country by officials over the past decade.
President Kais Saied has accused his predecessors and former leaders for depriving the country of grants and loans given by partners and friendly countries. About the alleged $18 million embezzled, media reports claimed Chahed used the money to bribe journalists and media to polish his image.
British media The Guardian in July 2018 published a piece revealing that the British government contracted the international communications agency, M & C Saatchi to conduct a media campaign in support of the Tunisian government in order to win votes for the reforms that have sparked fierce protests in the North African state since the Arab Spring.
The British government branded the article rubbish. The British embassy in Tunis in a statement indicate that the British government does not fund any pro-government media campaigns in support of the Tunisian executive or against social protests.