A man who worked as a carpenter at the Salesian mission where Father Marek Rybinski was found dead with his throat cut last Friday in Tunis has been arrested in connection with the priest’s murder.
The statement by the Tunisian Interior Ministry says that the man detained is 43 year-old Chokri Ben Mustapha Bel-Sadek El-Mestiri, “who worked at the same school as the priest,” reports the TAP news agency, the Polish News says.
“According to official investigations, this person, who was a jack of all trades at the missionary house, was given 2,000 dinars (about 1,000 Euro) three months ago by Fr Rybinski, to buy materials to do maintenance work at the school,” Tunis Bishop Maroun Elias Nimeh Lahham told Fides.
“El-Mestiri had spent the money, how we don’t know. Father Rybinski, seeing that the materials hadn’t been purchased, began asking for the money to be returned. Finally, he panicked and killed the missionary”.
Initially, given the manner in which he was killed (beheaded) it was thought that this was carried out by extremists, Fides.
Still to be clarified is whether there is a relationship between the murder and a threatening letter sent 15 days prior to the Salesians, to extort money. The letter was signed with a Nazi swastika.
However, the Ministry of the Interior expressed “relief” on hearing that the murder “was not politically motivated.”
Man arrested after Polish priest murder in Tunisia
(The Polish News)
Fr Rybinski killed for a thousand Euro; police arrest the alleged murderer