Tunisia presidential candidate to stay in jail

Salwa Smaoui, the wife of Tunisia's jailed presidential candidate Nabil Karoui (portrait) facing corruption charges, holds his election poster during a campaign event in Tunis on September 13, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 18 September 2019

Tunisia presidential candidate to stay in jail

  • “The judge has refused to give a ruling, saying it was not in his jurisdiction”

TUNIS: A fresh appeal for the release of jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui who has a reached a runoff in Tunisia’s presidential polls was turned down on Wednesday, his lawyers said.
“The judge has refused to give a ruling, saying it was not in his jurisdiction,” lawyer Kamel Ben Messoud said, after requesting his release the previous day.
“We will appeal,” he told AFP.
The court did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
Karoui, a 56-year-old media magnate, is under investigation for alleged money laundering and has been in pretrial detention since August 23.
Lawyer Nazih Souii said it was the third time a judge had said the matter was beyond his jurisdiction.
The court of appeals refused to pass judgment on September 3, as did the court of cassation on September 13.
Tunisia’s electoral commission, ISIE, has confirmed Karoui made it to the presidential runoff along with law professor Kais Saied following Sunday’s first round vote.
Karoui remains eligible to run despite his imprisonment, as long as any conviction does not also specifically deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.
He campaigned through the Nessma television channel he founded. ISIE has said it is investigating alleged electoral violations, including by Nessma TV.
Depending on potential appeals, the second round could be staged on October 6, the same day as legislative elections, or on October 13, ISIE said.
Observers from the European Union said the first round has been “transparent.”
But it called for the candidates to have the “same opportunities” to campaign, in an apparent allusion to Karoui.


Yemen streamlines repatriation of stranded citizens abroad

Updated 33 min 56 sec ago

Yemen streamlines repatriation of stranded citizens abroad

  • The test will be replaced by thermal screening at airports
  • The committee said more than 12,000 Yemeni citizens have been repatriated so far

DUBAI: Yemen’s committee on coronavirus has made it easier to repatriate nationals who were stranded due the coronavirus pandemic, state news agency Saba reported.

The Coronavirus National Committee has amended its protocol on repatriation, which previously required polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on returning citizens.

The test will be replaced by thermal screening at airports, according to the provision announced in a virtual session on Saturday.

The committee said more than 12,000 Yemeni citizens have been repatriated from countries such as Egypt, India and Jordan.

Yemenis in Pakistan will be flown back to the country on Sunday as part of the repatriation mission.