Tunisian energy minister and officials sacked over graft accusations

first_imgCorruption was one of main catalysts of the 2011 revolt against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Many Tunisians complain graft remains widespread despite a democratic transition since 2011 with free elections.Last year, the government confiscated the property and froze bank accounts of about 20 prominent businessmen arrested on suspicion of corruption.Chafik Jaraya, who maintains political contacts in Tunisia and Libya and helped finance the Nidaa Tounes ruling party during the last elections in 2014, was among those arrested last year.He is in jail awaiting trial. His lawyer has said the charges are politically motivated.Tunisia’s anti-corruption committee has said graft is still widespread in all business sectors and causes losses worth billions of dollars every year.Related BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 14: Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) arrive to lay flowers at a memorial to the December Berlin terror attack on February 14, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Earlier in the day the two leaders discussed the acceptance by Tunisia of Tunisians in Germany up for deportation due to failed asylum applications. The issue has become sensitive in light of the December terror attack in Berlin by Tunisian national Anis Amri, whose deportation was pending but had been delayed due to the slow response by Tunisian authorities. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed sacked the energy minister, Khaled Kaddour, and four other senior officials linked to that ministry on Friday over corruption accusations, an official source said.Chahed ordered the merger of the ministries of energy and industry and launched an investigation into the accusations, the official source told Reuters.There was no immediate comment from Kaddour – the first minister targeted in a crackdown on corruption that Chahed launched last year. So far only mid-level officials have lost their jobs.One of the other officials dismissed on Friday – secretary of state for energy, Hachem Hmidi – told Reuters he denied the accusations.“My exit from the government helps me to devote myself to the case and prove that I am innocent of these malicious charges,” he said. Somali auditor general sacked after bodyguards kill minister There were no immediate statements from the other officials named by the source – the director general of fuel, the head of the national oil company, ETAP, and the ministry’s director general of legal affairs.center_img Former Zambian minister facing graft charges Nigerian minister, top officials summoned over immigration dealslast_img read more

Rescheduled county senior hurling fixture takes place tonight

first_imgLoughmore Castleiney take on Borris-Ileigh this evening in Round 2 of the County Senior hurling championship.It was due to take place alongside the other fixtures last weekend, but was postponed.Loughmore’s Brian McGrath is in the midst of preparation for Tipperary’s All Ireland U21 Hurling Final against Cork on August 26th. All his inter-county teammates came through the club games unscathed last weekend, and he’s hoping he’ll be the same this weekend…Throw in in the Ragg this evening is at 7pmlast_img read more