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Tunisian judiciary refuses to release imprisoned presidential candidate

Supporters of Nabil Karoui rally outside court [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 September, 2019

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Tunisian judges have rejected an appeal for the release of Nabil Karoui, a media magnate imprisoned on money laundering charges, who is running in forthcoming presidential elections.

Tunisia's judiciary on Tuesday rejected an appeal to release media mogul and presidential candidate Nabil Karoui.

His lawyers had requested that Karoui be able to leave prison and campaign for Tunisia's elections after he was arrested on money laundering charges on 23 August.

Karoui was indicted in early July shortly after announcing that he intended to run for the presidency in polls set for 15 September.

After the rejection of Karoui's appeal on Tuesday, one of his lawyers, Mohamed Zaanouni, said his client was awaiting another appeal hearing.

"We hope to have an audience quickly, so that the rights of Mr Karoui with regard to his candidacy are respected."

Karoui's candidacy has been confirmed by Tunisia's electoral commission (ISIE).

He was among 26 candidates given the green light on Saturday, with ISIE head Nabil Baffoun saying even convicted candidates could take part as long as the verdict against them does not specifically say they are banned from running in an election.

Tunisia's presidential election was brought forward from November after the death in July of 92-year-old leader Beji Caid Essebsi, the country's first democratically elected president.

 

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