Tunisia’s justice system—and more precisely its regulatory authority the High Judicial Council—is staggering under the weight of allegations made against it by President Kais Saied and the Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi Defense Committee.

During a press conference on February 9, the Defense Committee laid out what it calls the High Judicial Council’s « complicity and collusion » in the assassination cases of Belaid and Brahmi. The Committee has pointed to multiple maneuvers made by the judges in charge of these cases. The judges in question: High Judicial Council president Youssef Bouzakher, who voted against lifting the immunity of former public prosecutor at the Court of Appeals of Tunis, Bechir Akermi. The latter, who oversaw the cases beginning in 2013 as investigating judge and then public prosecutor, has been accused of covering up evidence relating to the assassinations.

Bouzakher accused

Bouzakher allegedly also asked the public prosecutor to reject the justice minister’s request to investigate Ennahdha’s secret apparatus. According to the Defense Committee, the public prosecutor’s office elected not to effect legal proceedings against 16 of the 26 individuals belonging to the apparatus, including Rached Ghannouchi.

Defense Committee member Koutheir Bouallegue indicated that the case was deliberately transferred from the judicial precinct of Tunis to the investigating judge at the Court of Appeals of Ariana. Both judges who presided over the case apparently covered it up for one year, after which time they requested to be transfered. The High Judicial Council honored their requests. As far as Bouallegue is concerned, the president of the Council is on Ennahdha’s payroll.