MP Moez Ben Youssef’s arrest ‘unconstitutional’ (ARP member)

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Tunis: The rapporteur of the Security, Defence and Armed Forces Committee in the Assembly of People's Representatives (ARP), Thabet el-Abed, has described the arrest of MP Moez Ben Youssef as "unconstitutional". Speaking at an ARP plenary session on Tuesday, el-Abed said that the MP in question had been arrested without informing the ARP Or requesting the lifting of his parliamentary immunity in accordance with Article 65 of the constitution. The Public Prosecutor's Office at the Sousse II Court of First Instance issued a committal order against MP Moez Ben Youssef on charges of "insulting a public official in the performance of his duties", "drunkenness" and "physical and verbal violence". These actions are "contrary to the constitution" and "threaten the independence of ARP members,» Thabet el-Abed stressed. He called on the members and the speaker of the ARP to respond to this "for the sake of the Assembly's reputation and the independence of its decisions". Last Friday, the Criminal Chamber of the So usse II Court of First Instance rejected the request for the release of MP Moez Ben Youssef and postponed the hearing of the case until July 12. According to Article 45 of the Constitution, no member of parliament may be prosecuted or arrested for a criminal offence during his or her term of office until the Assembly of the People's Representatives has lifted his or her immunity. However, he or she may be arrested in flagrante delicto; the Assembly is immediately informed and the arrest remains in force if the immunity is lifted. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

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