'Tunisia issues arrest warrant for Arafat's widow, Suha'
LAST UPDATED: 10/31/2011 14:00
Tunisian Justice Ministry spokesman tells AFP Yasser Arafat's wife is wanted on corruption charges; Tunisian citizenship was revoked in 2007.
Widow of Yasser Arafat, Sufa Arafat [file] Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias
Arafat, widow of late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, is wanted by
officials in Tunisia for alleged corruption, AFP reported on Monday.
Justice Ministry spokesman Kadhem Zine al Abidine told the French news
agency that a warrant was issued for the 48-year-old Arafat, who was a
citizen of Tunisia, until her citizenship was stripped in 2007.
allegations go back to a 2006 business deal, when Suha Arafat had a
fallout with former first lady of Tunisia over the establishment of an
international school in Tunis, AFP quoted Tunisian newspapers as saying.
In 2007, Suha was declared persona non grata in Tunisia and had her
citizenship revoked, reportedly by presidential decree. Suha was
reported to be living in Malta, at least several months a year, where
she owns a home.
Since the ouster of former Tunisian dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben
Ali, a number of former regime officials have been charged with
Suha was raised as a Catholic in Ramallah and Nablus and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Suha met Yasser Arafat when she was on assignment in Jordan for a French
newspaper. She was immediately appointed as a public relations adviser
to the PLO and later as an economic consultant to her husband. The two
married secretly in 1990 at Arafat's house in Tunisia and kept the
wedding secret for 15 months.
She drew sharp criticism from many Palestinians when she tried to
prevent senior PA officials, including PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, from
visiting her husband while he was being treated in a military hospital
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report