Tunisia’s judiciary rejects appeal for release of presidential candidate

Tunisia's judiciary rejects appeal for release of presidential candidate

Tunisia’s judiciary on Tuesday rejected an appeal to release media mogul and presidential candidate Nabil Karoui, said his lawyers, who have requested that he be able to campaign.

Arrested on money laundering charges on August 23, Karoui was indicted in early July shortly after announcing he intended to run for the presidency in polls set for September 15.

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 ageing leader Beji Caid Essebsi, the country’s first democratically elected President.

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