Tunisian TV channel owner arrested on corruption allegations

The owner of a Tunisian private television channel that has been critical of the government was arrested on Tuesday on allegations of corruption, an official said, the latest move in a government campaign against corruption launched this month.

Sami Fehri is the owner of El Hiwar Ettounsi, a TV channel that has been critical of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

“After hours of continuous investigation, Sami Fehri was arrested on suspicion of financial corruption and money laundering,” said Sofian Sliti, a spokesman for the Tunisian judiciary. He did not give further details.

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Fehri’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Since the election of law professor Kais Saied as Tunisian president last month, the government has launched an anti-corruption campaign and financial audit involving the Foreign Ministry.

Four employees in two state transport companies were arrested last week on corruption charges.

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During his election campaign, Saied vowed to tackle corruption, which Tunisia’s independent anti-corruption commission has said is widespread and affects public sectors including security, health, transport, and customs.

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