Adel Tayari -TDO- (TUNISIA) Tunisian Prime Minister Yousef Shahid said he would not hand over anyone involved in corruption from his government's "war" on corruption. "What we have done is not, as some say, just a campaign," Shahid said in an interview with local newspapers published on Sunday (June 4th). "It's really a war on corruption that has spread everywhere. "Fighting corruption is a priority," he said. "We are all determined to go to the end of the war unabated. Explaining that the arrests were the result of weeks and months of continuous activity of the teams concerned, "where he personally supervised the investigations that were conducted in secret."
Yousef Shahid stressed that the government's war on corruption, following the policy, "we have taken in full agreement with President Baji Kaid Sibsi, will not target anyone, but does not exclude anyone." He said also that authorities had seized 700 million dinars (288 million American dollars) in the form of smuggled goods in eight months. He said his government's interest was to dismantle organized crime and bribery networks, a large tax evasion and the return of smuggled billions, adding that the arrests could include others.
The Tunisian government arrested more than a dozen people last month, including businessman Shafik Garaya known in the political and media circles, as part of a campaign against corruption suspects and conspiring against the security of the state.
The Tunisian prime minister denied that the recent move was linked to the growing social protests, especially in the south. The authorities accused some of the detainees of financing the demonstrations and inciting them.