AP News

Tunisian FM accused in 'Sheraton-gate' scandal


TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's foreign minister has been accused by a blogger of misusing public funds in a growing national scandal. And now the blogger faces investigation.

Olfa Rihai, who calls herself an investigative journalist, has published receipts alleging that Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalam stayed several nights in the Tunis Sheraton Hotel using public money.

Abdessalam denies the allegations in what's been dubbed the "Sheraton-gate" scandal. He is the son-in-law of a founder of Tunisia's Islamist ruling party.

Meanwhile, the country's attorney general has opened an investigation into the blogger, who said she's also been banned from traveling.

Alongside the receipts, Rihai has published documents alleging the ministry improperly received $1 million from China.

Criticizing government figures was once unthinkable in Tunisia until a revolution two years ago overthrew a secular dictatorship.


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