The former head of the presidential cabinet in Tunisia was sentenced in absentia to 14 months in prison on Tuesday in connection with audio recordings containing derogatory remarks towards President Kais Saied, according to media reports.
A series of sound recordings attributed to Nadia Akacha evoking the backstage of the Palace and meetings of President Saied with foreign dignitaries had been massively shared on social networks in April 2021, making headlines in Tunisia.
The recordings were released three months after Ms. Akacha resigned from her post after serving as the president's closest aide for two years.
Nadia Akacha had denied the comments attributed to her, which also included gossip about the president and his in-laws. The Tunis prosecutor's office opened an investigation in early May to determine the authenticity of these recordings.
Prosecuted by the president's sister-in-law implicated in these recordings, Ms Akacha, who left Tunisia after her resignation, was sentenced on Tuesday in absentia to 14 months in prison by the Tunis court of first instance, according to several media. Tunisians.
A lawyer by training, Ms. Akacha was appointed legal adviser in the presidential cabinet at the end of 2019 before becoming in January 2020 the director of the cabinet of President Saied. She accompanied him on all his trips, in Tunisia and abroad.
She announced her resignation citing "fundamental differences of opinion, in relation to the interest" of the country. According to the media, she moved to France after leaving her post.
After months of political deadlock, Mr. Saied, elected at the end of 2019, assumed full powers at the end of July 2021 by dismissing the Prime Minister and suspending Parliament, before dissolving it in March 2022.
His critics accuse him of establishing a new autocracy in the country which was the cradle of the Arab Spring in 2011.