Tunisian court opens hearing on Ghannouchi charges | Courts News

Opposition chief faces money-laundering allegations amid sweeping energy seize by President Kais Saied.

Tunisia’s principal opposition chief, Rached Ghannouchi, has arrived at a Tunis courtroom for a listening to in a money-laundering investigation that his Ennahdha celebration rejects as a political ploy.

Dozens of Ghannouchi’s supporters stood protesting exterior the courtroom within the capital on Tuesday regardless of a heavy police presence for his testimony in a preliminary listening to by an investigative choose.

It comes lower than every week earlier than President Kais Saied holds a referendum on a brand new structure that will tremendously increase his powers in a transfer that Ennahda and plenty of different events have rejected as unlawful.

Elizia Volkmann, a contract journalist based mostly in Tunis, advised Al Jazeera the courtroom would concentrate on alleged “cash laundering and international financing, and whether or not this international financing is linked to terrorism”.

She added that Ghannouchi’s workforce had dismissed the listening to as an engineered “piece of political theatre” forward of subsequent week’s referendum.

“The large query is whether or not he might be arrested, charged and detained on the finish of immediately,” Volkmann stated, noting that a number of different senior Ennahda figures had beforehand been detained.

“Ghannouchi is considered one of Saied’s best critics, he has pushed again in opposition to a variety of his strikes … so that is seen as an enormous showdown as a result of Ghannouchi is a big determine in Tunisian politics,” she added.

Political turmoil

Ennahda has been a substantial political power and featured in practically each coalition authorities since Tunisia’s 2011 revolution.

The celebration, which was previously related to the Muslim Brotherhood and now describes itself as “Muslim Democrat”, was the most important within the nation’s parliament previous to Saied dissolving the physique a yr in the past, as a part of strikes that additionally noticed him sack the federal government and seize management of Tunisia’s judiciary.

Ghannouchi, whose financial institution accounts had been frozen earlier this month together with a number of different opponents of Saied, was additionally the final parliament’s speaker.

The rising opposition motion to Saied’s rule, of which the Ennahda chief has been on the forefront, has denounced Saied’s actions as a “coup”.

Critics accuse him of waging political vendettas and dragging the nation again to dictatorship, greater than 10 years since its pro-democracy revolt compelled former longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the nation and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

For his half, Saied has defended the choices he has made since final yr – when he began to rule by decree earlier than rewriting the nation’s democratic structure – as crucial to finish years of political stagnation.

Meeting to create road map for Ukraine reconstruction opens | Russia-Ukraine war News

The federal government of war-ravaged Ukraine is because of define for the primary time its priorities for the nation’s reconstruction following Russia’s invasion, throughout a convention in Switzerland.

The 2-day occasion within the southern metropolis of Lugano begins on Monday and will probably be attended by representatives of dozens of nations, in addition to a number of worldwide organisations and monetary establishments. It would embody hashing out a plan to rebuild Ukraine and distributing duties amongst delegates.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who will participate just about, mentioned on Sunday the work wanted forward within the areas which have been liberated by Russian forces alone was “actually colossal”.

“And we should free over 2,000 villages and cities within the east and south of Ukraine,” added Zelenskyy, who is predicted to current a proper draft of Ukraine’s restoration plan.

Rebuilding Ukraine, which greater than 4 months into the warfare has already seen devastating destruction, is predicted to value a whole lot of billions of {dollars}.

The occasion in Lugano is just not a pledging convention, however will as an alternative try to put out the ideas and priorities for a rebuilding course of aimed to start even because the warfare rages.

It’s estimated that a minimum of 45 million sq. metres of housing, 256 enterprises, 656 medical establishments, and 1,177 academic establishments had been broken, destroyed or seized.

‘Highway map’

The convention had been deliberate nicely earlier than Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24, initially slated to debate reforms in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Switzerland Artem Rybchenko mentioned earlier than the assembly that it will assist create “the street map” to his nation’s restoration.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal made a uncommon journey out of Ukraine for the reason that warfare started to attend, and was met on the airport on Sunday by Swiss President Ignazio Cassis and regional leaders.

5 different authorities ministers have been additionally amongst about 100 Ukrainians who made the lengthy and threatening journey, though overseas minister Dmytro Kuleba reportedly needed to cancel on the final second attributable to sickness.

In all, some 1,000 folks have been scheduled to take part within the convention, together with European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, a number of authorities chiefs and quite a few ministers.

British overseas secretary Liz Truss is because of set out her nation’s imaginative and prescient for the rebuilding, in keeping with a press release.

In her feedback to the convention on Monday, she is predicted to spotlight the significance of Ukraine’s full restoration from “Russia’s warfare of aggression”.

That, she’s going to say, will probably be “a logo of the facility of democracy over autocracy”.

Fundamental providers

The European Funding Financial institution (EIB) is predicted to suggest the creation of a brand new Ukraine belief fund, which with investments from EU and non-EU states may ultimately swell to 100 billion euros, in keeping with sources acquainted with the draft plans, dpa information company reported.

The proposal, attributable to be introduced on Monday afternoon, goals to create a platform capable of generate funding in the direction of reconstruction, and in addition in the direction of Ukraine’s EU accession objectives, they mentioned.

“Ukraine is a large nation, quite a bit has been destroyed … you can not begin planning and coordinating reconstruction quickly sufficient,” Markus Berndt, head of the EIB’s division of exterior exercise, informed dpa.

Berndt confused that Ukraine urgently wants assist to safe fundamental providers together with as clear water provide, sewage, waste disposal, power and web entry to make sure macroeconomic stability, Berndt mentioned.

“We want funding, in any other case the economic system will collapse utterly after which we’d lose crucial pillar for reconstruction,” he added.

NATO summit opens amid warnings of ‘a more dangerous world’ | NATO News

On the eve of NATO’s annual summit, the top of the Western defence alliance referred to as for member states to spice up their army spending in an more and more “unpredictable” and “harmful” world.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a “elementary shift” in NATO’s strategy to defence, the NATO chief mentioned. As preparations for the summit talks started on Tuesday, that shift was underscored when the army alliance introduced that it will likely be joined by two new members: Finland and Sweden.

Russia’s battle on its nearest neighbour has prompted Sweden and Finland to desert their long-held nonaligned standing and apply to hitch the army bloc.

Alongside welcoming new members, NATO allies may even agree on the summit to extend the energy of their fast response pressure by practically eightfold, from 40,000 to 300,000 troops.

The brand new forces will likely be primarily based of their house nations however will likely be devoted to quickly deploy to particular nations on NATO’s jap flank with Russia, the place the alliance plans to additionally construct up shares of apparatus and ammunition.

NATO Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg mentioned that the summit conferences on Wednesday and Thursday would chart a blueprint for the alliance “in a extra harmful and unpredictable world”.

“To have the ability to defend in a extra harmful world we have now to take a position extra in our defence,” Stoltenberg mentioned.

Prime of the agenda for leaders is strengthening defences towards Russia and supporting Ukraine in its battle towards Moscow, each of which require extra monetary dedication from NATO members.

Simply 9 of NATO’s 30 members meet the organisation’s goal of spending 2 p.c of GDP on defence.

Spain, which is internet hosting the summit, spends solely half of that.

With the Russia-Ukraine battle serving because the backdrop, the three-day summit in Madrid will set the course of the alliance for the approaching years, together with NATO’s new Strategic Idea – a once-a-decade set of priorities and objectives.

“An enormous level of the discussions will likely be simply how far to go in help for Ukraine by NATO – with everybody right here deeply conscious of the actual hazard concerned in permitting President Putin to color this battle as between Russia and NATO,” Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull mentioned.

Talking from Madrid, Hull mentioned there may be already a reinforcement of battle teams within the Baltics and 4 Jap European nations for the reason that begin of the Russia-Ukraine battle.

“They are going to turn into brigade-sized battle teams as an extra deterrence to President Putin’s onward advance in direction of NATO nations,” he mentioned.

China: buddy or foe?

Member states may even try and mitigate their division over easy methods to cope with China, a formidable Russian ally.

The alliance’s new Strategic Idea is predicted to set out NATO’s strategy on points from cybersecurity to local weather change – and the rising financial and army attain of China, in addition to the rising significance and energy of the Indo-Pacific area and the way that pertains to NATO.

For the primary time, the leaders of Japan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand are attending the NATO summit as company.

Some European members are cautious of the robust US line on Beijing and don’t need China solid as an opponent of NATO.

Stoltenberg mentioned final week that “we don’t regard China as an adversary,” however he added that Beijing “poses some challenges to our values, to our pursuits, to our safety”.

Turkey backs Sweden, Finland membership bids

After initially blocking the membership bids of Finland and Sweden, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a joint memorandum with the Finnish and Swedish leaders on Tuesday “to increase their full assist towards threats to one another’s safety”.

The trilateral settlement “confirms that Turkey will on the Madrid Summit this week assist the invitation of Finland and Sweden to turn into members of NATO,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto mentioned in an announcement.

Erdogan had beforehand insisted that he would solely enable the Nordic pair to enter NATO in the event that they modified their stance on Kurdish insurgent teams that Turkey considers terrorists. In an announcement on Tuesday, the Turkish president’s workplace mentioned Turkey had “obtained what it wished” from Sweden and Finland.

In keeping with the Turkish Communications Directorate, the Nordics have agreed to take concrete steps on the extradition of wished people, in addition to to stop “terrorist propaganda” towards Turkey. Moreover, Finland and Sweden have agreed to not impose embargoes on the Turkish defence business and to extend cooperation.

‘Get up, guys’

A Russian missile assault Monday on a shopping center within the central Ukrainian metropolis of Kremenchuk was a grim reminder of the battle’s horrors, and a few noticed the timing of the assault – as G7 leaders met in Germany and simply forward of NATO – as a direct message from Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is because of handle the NATO leaders by video on Wednesday, referred to as the raid on the mall a “terrorist” act.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko travelled to Madrid to induce the alliance to offer his nation with “no matter it takes” to cease Russia.

“Get up, guys. That is taking place now. You’re going to be subsequent, that is going to be knocking in your door simply within the blink of a watch,” Klitschko informed reporters on the NATO summit venue.

Russia’s state house company, Roscosmos, marked the summit’s opening by releasing satellite tv for pc photographs and coordinates of the Madrid convention corridor the place it’s being held, together with coordinates of the White Home, the Pentagon and the federal government headquarters in London, Paris and Berlin.

The Russian house company mentioned NATO was set to declare Russia an enemy on the summit, including that it was publishing exact coordinates of the assembly place “simply in case”.