Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed estimates that 460 businessmen have plundered the country. He offered them a deal for “penal reconciliation”.
It is a bit like the symbol of the clean hands operation which is starting in Tunisia, under the leadership of the President of the Republic Kaïs Saïed. Beginning of July, a few days before the head of state takes full power by dismissing its head of government and freezing the work of the Assembly of People's Representatives, an investigation was opened by the Financial Judicial Center for suspicion of corruption within the Body for the Fight against… Corruption (INLUCC)! The INLUCC and its president Chawki Tabib are accused of “mismanagement of funds”. Since yesterday, the announcements of the opening of investigations have multiplied and, on social networks, the lists of supposedly corrupt businessmen follow one another.
The INLUCC is not the only body targeted by justice. Between July 1 and July 14, the Economic and Financial Pole opened investigations against political parties, personalities and even public companies. The Truth and Dignity Authority (IVD) is for example targeted for "suspicion of fraud, forgery and use of forgery", while the prosecution has opened an investigation for "suspicion of corruption in the acquisition of aircraft engines" against the airline Tunisair. Political parties - Ennahdha, Qalb Tounes and Aïch Tounsi - are also accused of having received foreign funding during the last presidential campaign.
It is therefore the big cleaning that officially begins in Tunisia. The president does not hide it. And if the justice began its investigations a month ago, the president has, him, in the crosshairs, businessmen. He announced yesterday an upcoming presidential decree, which provides for a "penal reconciliation" with businessmen who "plundered" national wealth. Kaïs Saïed speaks from a list of 460 businessmen who allegedly stole 13,5 billion dinars - or about 4 billion euros - by embezzling funds from infrastructure projects.
460 businessmen having "looted" will have to finance State projects
Since then, this famous list of 460 has remained confidential, although some names circulate widely on social networks. During an interview with the president of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts (UTICA), Samir Majoul, Kaïs Saïed reportedly gave the latter the list of 460 names. In all likelihood, Kaïs Saïed would speak of a list drawn up in 2011, the day after the Tunisian revolution, by Abdelfattah Amor, then president of the National Commission of investigation into the facts of corruption and embezzlement. In this case, it would be a first decision which would concern Ben Ali's Tunisia. In the meantime, has the government investigated post-revolution ill-gotten gains? Kaïs Saïed remains evasive on this question and indicates that he will not communicate the names of the people concerned.
The “penal reconciliation” of which Kaïs Saïed speaks is in any case part of the electoral promises of the one who was then only a presidential candidate. The president promises a conditional “fiscal amnesty” to the businessmen having “despoiled” Tunisia: the people concerned should remain free against promises of financing of projects in all the delegations, in particular the poorest. A process that will not be done with a snap of the fingers: for ten years, the commitments of businessmen will be controlled by the State, so that the funds pledged go well to the construction or the renovation of schools, hospitals or infrastructure, and their maintenance.
Kaïs Saïed considers that he has established a sort of “list” of the most corrupt businessmen: “Businessmen will be classified from the most involved to the least involved, he said. The most involved businessman will have to invest in the poorest delegation. However, the projects to be implemented must not be for profit. It is a development project, like the construction of hospitals, schools, public roads ”. If he assures that he does not want to launch a hunt for businessmen, Kaïs Saïed indicated that "there have been attempts to destroy documents of major importance: these people will be brought to justice, in accordance with the law. ".