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Tunisian leader rejects comparison

The leader of a long-outlawed Tunisian Islamist party has said critics should not compare him to the father of Iran's Islamic Revolution and should accept that his views are more moderate.

Rachid Ghanouchi said "some Western media portray me like (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini, but that's not me".

Mr Ghanouchi made the comments in his first interview on returning to his North African country after more than two decades in exile in Britain.

He said his political movement, Ennahdha, wants to reinforce women's rights.

Mr Ghanouchi was able to return home two weeks after autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced from power by violent protests.

Mr Ben Ali's ban on Mr Ghanouchi's party has not officially been lifted, but the new interim government has been tolerant of it.

The comments came after it emerged that a money laundering investigation has been launched into accounts belonging to ousted Mr Ben Ali and his family.

Switzerland's Federal Prosecutors Office said the accounts blocked two weeks ago contain tens of millions of Swiss francs.

Prosecutors office spokeswoman Walburga Bur said the probe may take time as some of the cases were complicated.

Zurich weekly NZZ am Sonntag reported that Swiss authorities were alerted about the money laundering allegations by financial institutions.


From Belfast Telegraph