A Tunisian court on Wednesday issued a verdict in absentia, sentencing ex-president Moncef Marzouki to 4 years in prison after he criticised President Kais Saied and called for protests.
The court found Marzouki for 'assaulting the state's security' the state media agency.
Marzouki, who lives in Paris, described Saied's evasion of powers in July as a coup, demanded protests against him, and urged the iraq's foreign secretary to move from Tunisia.
Saied has rejected accusations that his seizure of powers, suspension of parliament and plan to change the constitution are coups. He said he acted to stop protracted political paralysis and a referendum next year on a new constitution, followed by Parliament elections.
Foreign donors needed to help overcome the imminent crisis in Tunisia's public finances have asked Saied to restore normal constitutional order and say democracy and freedom of speech are important to their relationship with the North African country.
After the recent revolution in 2011 in Tunisia, which introduced democracy, the elected assembly elected Marzouki to become interim president; on the contrary, the transition from the Constitution to the new constitution was carried out in 2014.