Ayoub Massoudi, a former advisor to Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, faces a military trial over his declarations regarding the extradition of former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi (under Gaddafi).
Fearing that Mahmoudi would not get a fair trial in Libya, President Moncef Marzouki had opposed the extradition. Yet, the government presided over by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali sent Mahmoudi back home on June 24, 2012, without notifying the president who on that same day was touring the south of Tunisia, accompanied by Rachid Ammar [Chief of Staff of the Tunisian Armed Forces] and Abdelkrim Zbidi [Minister of Defence].
In a televised interview, dated July 15, and aired on the privately-owned Attounisia TV channel, Massoudi described the extradition process as a “treason against the State”, because Ammar and Zbidi who “were aware of the extradition, its time, and all of its circumstances… did not utter a word, and did not inform the President who is the Commander-in-Chief.”
Following a complaint lodged against him by General Rachid Ammar, Ayoub Massoudi faces charges of “harming the army's dignity, reputation, and morale” and “accusing without proof a public officer.
Although Ayoub is not behind bars, a travel ban was imposed on him. On August 16, authorities at the Tunis Carthage Airport prevented him from boarding a plane to join his family in Paris.
Chayma Mehdi tweets [fr]:
#AyoubMassouadi n'a pas été arrêté certes, n’empêche #FreeAyoub. Parce-qu’on est censé être libre de quitté ou non notre pays.
Ayoub Massoudi n'a reçu aucune notification au sujet de la plainte déposée contre lui par l'armée
“Treason against the State” not “High Treason”
The award-winning collective blog Nawaat.org obtained a copy of General Ammar's testimony in Massoudi's case. Ramzi Bettibi (aka Winston Smith) reports [ar]:
Trial to resume next week
On August 22, the second hearing in Massoudi's case took place at the Tunis based Permanent Military Court. The trial will resume on August 30. Nawaat reports [fr] on its Facebook page:
#freeayoub La deuxième audition de Ayoub Massoudi vient de s'achever. Le juge d'instruction militaire a décidé d'une 3e audition le 30 août 2012. Ayoub Massoudi y comparaîtra libre mais demeure sous le coup de l'interdiction de voyager
Ayoub Massoudi resignation
It is worth mentioning that Ayoub Massoudi resigned on June 28, after serving as President Marzouki's top media advisor for ten months. The decision came in protest at what Massoudi described as his “exclusion” from decision-making in the presidential cabinet.
He announced his resignation on his blog in a post [fr] entitled “Je suis enfin libre” (Free at last). He wrote:
C'est en toute liberté et sans aucune contrainte ou pression que j'annonce cette démission, motivée par le respect immense que je voue à la Révolution tunisienne, aux martyrs, à l'Etat, aux tunisiens et à tous les contribuables qui payent mon salaire pour un métier que je n'exerce pas dans les faits. Pourtant, dieu sait combien j'ai essayé.