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Tunisia Court Orders Release of Ex-Presidential Candidate Karoui

Tunisia Court Orders Release of Ex-Presidential Candidate Karoui

Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 - 16:30
Nabil Karoui. (AFP)

Tunisia's Court of Cassation on Tuesday decided to release media mogul and former presidential candidate Nabil Karoui after he spent months in preventive detention, his lawyer told AFP.

Nazih Souii said the court appeared to have considered that Karoui, leader of the liberal Qalb Tounes party, had been held in custody for longer than the maximum six-month period.

He said the 57-year-old had not yet left prison.

Karoui is a business and media mogul whose party came second in the October 2019 parliamentary election and allied itself with the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party.

President Kais Saied has accused the two parties of corruption.

During Karoui's presidential election campaign that same year, he spent more than a month in prison over money laundering and tax evasion charges stemming from a 2017 investigation.

He was arrested again in December 2020 over the same affair, and began a hunger strike earlier this month in protest at being detained for longer than the six-month pre-trial limit allowed by the law.

Karoui is the founder of private channel Nessma TV, partly owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

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