Kacem charged over Tunisia deaths

Former interior minister, already in police custody, accused over deaths of scores of protesters during January revolt.

    Scores of protesters are reported to have been died died during January's uprising[EPA]

    An arrest warrant has been issued for Tunisia's former interior minister, Rafik Belhaj Kacem, on charges of murder, the country's state news agency reports.

    Kacem was interior minister during the popular uprising that ousted long-term president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January.

    He is accused of being complicit in the killings of scores of protesters and has been in police custody since February.

    The move follows a court order on Wednesday dissolving Ben Ali's former ruling party.

    The court in Tunis, the capital, announced the end of the Rally for Constitutional Democracy (RCD), but the party said it would appeal against the decision.

    The chamber "decided to dissolve the Rally for Constitutional Democacy and to liquidate its assets and funds", the court said in its ruling, triggering a burst of applause.

    Pro-democracy activists have been demanding the party's dismantling since Ben Ali was ousted on January 14 after a popular uprising, that triggered unrest across the Arab world.

    The RCD was suspended from official activities in February by the interior ministry, after Ben Ali fled the country.

    The party, which claimed a membership of two million people out of a population of around 10.4 million, was accused of violating the constitution to set up a one-party "totalitarian regime" under Ben Ali.

    Since it was created in 1988, the party had never been audited and had never filed annual accounts, the interior ministry said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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