Suha Arafat, the widow of former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, said on Wednesday that the Tunisian government’s corruption charges against her are part of a campaign to defame her husband and the Palestinian cause.
Her comments came in response to Tunisia’s decision to issue an arrest warrant against her alleged financial corruption.
The allegations date back to a 2006 business deal, when Suha had a business dispute with the former first lady of Tunisia, Leila Tarabulsi, over the establishment of an international school in Tunis.
The two women had established the school as a joint project that was supposed to serve 1,500 pupils.
A year later, the Tunisian authorities stripped her of her Tunisian citizenship, declared her a persona non grata and expelled her from the country. Since then she has been living in Malta.
In statements published in a number of Palestinian media outlets on Wednesday, Suha denied the charges against her and said she had taken a $200,000 loan from a bank to build the school.