TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia has issued a warrant summoning the widow of deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat over a corruption scandal, the state news agency reported Monday.
The warrant was issued last week over Suha Arafat’s role in a scandal involving former Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his family and other high government officials, said Kadhem Zine El Abidine, spokesman for the Justice Ministry.
He did not provide any details, but an online journal “Attounissia” said she was being investigated over The International School of Carthage, which she founded in 2006 with Ben Ali’s wife, Leila Trabelsi.
Relations between the two deteriorated over the next year until Suha Arafat was declared persona non grata and she left for Malta, where her brother Gaby al-Tawil was the Palestinian ambassador.
A Palestinian official in Tunis said she was still living in Malta, on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
The warrant is not for arrest, but only a summoning for questioning, either as a suspect or witness to the case.
Suha Arafat lived in Tunisia after Yasser Arafat’s death in France in 2004. She has French citizenship.
Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization, or the PLO, was headquartered in the Tunisian capital for years following Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Suha Arafat once served as secretary to the famed Palestinian leader, and they secretly married in 1990.