The Tunisian cabinet has endorsed a bill for amending Chapter 96 of the country’s penal code, which was responsible for convicting thousands of public sector employees in a number of corruption cases related to the former regime.
According to a number of members of Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh’s government, the amendment sets to “liberate the powers of the administration.”
The opposition also backed the amendment saying that it didn’t mean that those who made mistakes would go unpunished.
The law would still punish those who had exploited their relationship with the deposed Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime.
In 2017, the late Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi signed off a reconciliation law for administrative affairs, which stipulated general amnesty to all employees that had at a point harmed the country’s administration and benefited others.
The law, however, singled out those who received bribes or robbed public funds.
What remained was chapter 96 of the penal code that punished employees who were coerced into involvement in corruption cases by administrative hierarchy and did not personally benefit.
The amendment is expected to cause intense political and parliamentary controversy when it is referred to parliament for discussion and ratification.
Government spokeswoman Asma al-Suhairi said that the government endorsing the amendment would overcome injustice that had haunted honest civil servants.