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Tunisia: No Intention to Deport Bin Laden's Bodyguard to Germany

Tunisia: No Intention to Deport Bin Laden's Bodyguard to Germany

Friday, 3 August, 2018 - 05:45
Tunisian counter-terrorism police stand guard near a house in Raoued February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Anis Mili

Sofian Sliti, spokesman of Tunisia's anti-terrorist judiciary body, has said that the authorities do not intend to deport a suspected militant who once served as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard back to Germany.

Sliti said Thursday that the judge released Sami Aidoudi on July 27 after 15 days of preventative detention.

The suspect cannot leave Tunisia pending the end of the investigation. Aidoudi is suspected of having received terrorist training in Afghanistan and involvement in radical activities in Germany.

The German city of Bochum was facing a fine on Wednesday after the passing of a midnight deadline to fetch Aidoudi back from Tunisia.

Aidoudi, who is classed as a "Gefaehrder," or potential risk to the public by German authorities, was deported to his home country on July 13, despite a court in Gelsenkirchen ruling against it the previous day.

The ruling wasn't communicated until Aidoudi's plane was already in the air and the court then set an ultimatum for his return.

On Tuesday, a higher court rejected Bochum's argument that it could not fetch him back as he was being investigated by authorities in Tunisia, which has also confiscated his passport.

The court in Munster ruled the city had made "no effort whatsoever" to retrieve Aidoudi and that it could "not be taken for granted that such efforts would be futile."

A lawyer for Aidoudi said on Tuesday that she would demand Bochum pay the 10,000-euro (11,700-dollar) fine immediately after the deadline had passed.

Meanwhile, judicial sources stressed that Tunisia's anti-terrorist judiciary body would deal firmly with the armed group that robbed a Tunisian bank in the town of Kasserine on Wednesday.

The attack has a "terrorist background", a Tunisian security official said.

Eleven men, some armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, had hijacked a car and four then stormed the bank and seized an unknown amount of cash, the official said. They later escaped.

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