- Title: Tunisian presidential candidate to stay in jail, testing democracy
- Date: 1st October 2019
- Summary: TUNIS, TUNISIA (OCTOBER 1, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF COURT WHERE CASE OF JAILED TUNISIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NABIL KAROUI IS BEING HEARD PEOPLE AND JOURNALISTS WAITING OUTSIDE COURT PEOPLE LEAVING COURT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LAWYER REPRESENTING NABIL KAROUI, KAMAL BIN MASSOUD, SAYING: "Unfortunately, the decision was taken to reject an appeal presented by the defence lawyers, by supporting the decision of the investigating judge who ruled that looking into the request to release (Karoui) is not under his jurisprudence. In addition, the court decided to reject the request to release Karoui which was presented parallel with the first appeal, in case it was rejected. But both appeals were rejected." JOURNALISTS WAITING OUTSIDE COURT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LAWYER REPRESENTING NABIL KAROUI, KAMAL BIN MASSOUD, SAYING: "We find today's decision to be strange, despite our respect of the judiciary. We find no justification to reject the appeals filed by (Karoui), especially that the investigating judge ruled that (the case looking into Karoui's release) is not under his jurisprudence." MEMBER OF POLITICAL COMMITTEE OF KAROUI'S HEART OF TUNISIA PARTY, OSAMA AL-KHOULAIFY, SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF POLITICAL COMMITTEE OF KAROUI'S HEART OF TUNISIA PARTY, OSAMA AL-KHOULAIFY, SAYING: "Politically, we believe that this is a catastrophe for Tunisia, a catastrophe for the democratic process. The demand to release Karoui is a popular one. Nabil Karoui is a political prisoner, we are certain of that, his imprisonment is a political decision. Nabil Karoui was elected by half a million Tunisians, and today half a million Tunisian are jailed with Nabil Karoui." COURT EXTERIOR
- Embargoed: 15th October 2019 21:06
- Keywords: Nabil Karoui Tunisian presidential candidate to stay in jail jailed presidential candidate Tunisia Tunisia presidential elections
- Location: TUNIS, TUNISIA
- City: TUNIS, TUNISIA
- Country: Tunisia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZ9PJK7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Tunisian presidential candidate Nabil Karoui, who faces an election run-off this month, must stay in detention for now on suspicion of financial crimes that he denies, a court ruled on Tuesday (October 1).
The television mogul was arrested in August on three-year-old charges of tax evasion and money laundering, but came second in the first round of the presidential election last month.
Kariou's lawyer said that he and his team found the decision to be strange and without justification.
Kariou's arrest has raised difficult questions for Tunisia's young democracy, with his supporters saying he is the victim of political chicanery and his critics saying his campaign is based on the illicit use of his media channel.
Tunisia has been a democracy since 2011, after its people rose up in a revolution that ousted veteran autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired the "Arab Spring" uprisings.
The electoral commission has said Karoui can compete in the Oct. 13 run-off against retired law professor Kais Said unless he is convicted, though there seems little chance of an imminent verdict.
(Production: Zoubeir Soussi, Mai Shams El-Din, Louisa Naks)
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