According to the Tunisian Ministry of Justice, the Court of First Instance in Tunis issued an arrest warrant against Suha Arafat, the widow of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The reasons for the decision have not been specified, according to Kadhem Zine Al Abidine, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, but it is with reference to the affair of the International School of Carthage that she founded in 2006 with Leila Trabelsi, the wife of former Tunisian President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali.
One year after the establishment of the school, Suha Arafat was stripped of her Tunisian citizenship, which she acquired in 2004 after her husband’s death, and she was expelled from the country in August 2007, supposedly following a disagreement between her and Leila Ben Ali.
Mrs. Arafat explained previously that she has nothing to do with the International School which she founded with Mrs. Leila Trabelsi before she officially gave up her partnership in the school to Asmaa Mahjoub, Mrs. Leila Ben Ali’s niece.
The 48-year-old Arafat spends most of her time in Malta, where she owns a house.
According to a leaked report from the United States ambassador to Tunisia in November, 2007, one possible theory for the revocation of Arafat’s Tunisians citizenship in 2007 was her visit to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to ask for money. When Gaddafi confronted Ben Ali for failing to provide for Yasser Arafat’s widow, Ben Ali was so embarrassed he revoked her citizenship.