AFRICA/TUNISIA - Fr Rybinski killed for a thousand Euro; police arrest the alleged murderer

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tunis (Agenzia Fides) – Police authorities in Tunis arrested the alleged murderer of Fr Marek Rybinski, the Polish Salesian missionary killed on 18 February in Manouba  (see Fides 19/2/2011). They arrested Chokri Ben Mustapha Bel-Sadek El-Mestiri. “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,” explains Bishop Maroun Elias Nimeh Lahham of Tunis to Fides. “El-Mestiri had spent the money, how we don't know. Fr 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. 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. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/2/2011)