Tunisia PM sacks energy minister facing graft probe

2018-08-31 18:16
Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. (File, AFP)

Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. (File, AFP)

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Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has fired his energy minister who is facing a corruption probe, the premier's office said on Friday announcing a series of sackings.

Khaled Kaddour, a former oil executive who was also responsible for mining, was dismissed less than a year after his appointment in September 2017.

The 60-year-old's tenure has been marred by suspicions of graft, with Kaddour appearing before a judge in November over allegations of "administrative and financial corruption" within the ministry.

Legal proceedings are still underway and the prime minister's office did not give a reason for Kaddour's dismissal.

Hachem Hmidi, secretary of state at the ministry, was also sacked along with the director generals of judicial affairs and fuel.

The chief executive of the Tunisian National Oil Company was also removed from his post.

Announcing a broad overhaul of the energy and mines ministry, the prime minister's office said there would be an investigation into the workings of the department.

A commission of experts will be formed to restructure the ministry, which will now be attached to the industry ministry, Chahed's office said in a statement without specifying whether the measure would be permanent.

The shake-up is the latest move in the prime minister's anti-corruption drive, which has caught up numerous senior officials and businessmen since it was announced in May 2017.

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