Tunisia points arrest warrant for former presidential candidate

The announcement comes a day after Nabil Karoui and his brother had been reportedly arrested in Algeria.

Tunisia has issued an arrest warrant for former presidential candidate Nabil Karoui and his brother, in keeping with authorities, a day after experiences that they had been detained in neighbouring Algeria.

Karoui was runner-up in Tunisia’s 2019 presidential election, a ballot received by Kais Saied, who in July this yr suspended parliament and granted himself sweeping presidential powers.

Native media reported on Monday that the Qalb Tounes get together chief and his brother, MP Ghazi Karoui, had been taken into custody in Algeria.

On Tuesday Riadh al-Nouioui, spokesman for the Kasserine courtroom in central Tunisia, informed the AFP information company an “arrest warrant has been issued in opposition to Nabil and Ghazi Karoui for illegally crossing the border”.

An individual suspected of serving to the pair to depart the nation had been arrested the day earlier than, he added, with out elaborating.

Algeria and Tunisia are certain by an settlement stipulating the extradition by both nation “of any individual prosecuted or convicted” within the different.

Any extradition request should be “accompanied by an official doc from the authorities”.

Nabil Karoui based the personal Tunisian channel Nessma TV, which is partly owned by Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Accusations over activist

On Monday, human rights teams accused Tunisia of handing over to Algeria political activist Slimane Bouhafs, who had been sentenced to jail in 2016 for “insulting Islam”.

Hypothesis has mounted in Tunisian media and social networks that the Karoui brothers’ arrest was in alternate for the handover of Bouhafs.

Karoui has been below investigation since 2017 in a cash laundering and tax evasion case.

He was arrested in 2019 and spent greater than a month in jail on the top of the presidential election marketing campaign.

He was freed however rearrested final December and spent six months in pre-trial detention earlier than being set free once more in June.

Karoui got here second within the 2019 election to Saied, a retired regulation professor and political newcomer, because the voters rejected the political class that had dominated because the 2011 revolution.

On July 25, Saied dismissed parliament, sacked the prime minister and granted himself sweeping powers, invoking the structure as justification.

Since then, there was a wave of journey bans and home arrests focusing on parliamentarians, magistrates and businessmen in an anti-corruption purge that has raised fears of a decline in freedoms.