Tunisia: Interior Ministry Denies Any Contact in Prison With Chafik Jarraya to Seek Information Against Nabil Karoui or Hafedh Caid Essebsi

Nabil Karoui, a contenders in the September 15 presidential race in Tunisia.

Tunis/Tunisia — "No specialised security brigade has contacted businessman Chafik Jarraya in prison to ask him for information, files or recordings against presidential candidate Nabil Karoui or Executive Director of Nidaa Tounes Hafedh Caïd Essebsi, said the Interior Ministry.

In a statement released on Sunday, the ministry said all that has been done in the case of presidential candidate Nabil Karoui was in execution of the detention warrant issued by specialised judicial bodies.

Fayçal Jadlaoui, the lawyer of jailed businessman Chafik Jarraya told Karoui's Nessma TV his client was contacted in prison by a specialized security brigade who asked him for information, files or recordings against Nabil Karoui or Hafedh Caid Essebsi. Those information may, according to him, let him get out.

The Interior Ministry said lawyer's remarks affect the integrity and credibility of the security apparatus, adding that "such statements also aim to involve the security apparatus in political infighting."

The Interior Department said it has asked the Public Prosecutor's Office to initiate an investigation over the lawyer's statements.

Nabil Karoui, owner of Nessma TV, president of the party "Heart of Tunisia" and candidate for the early presidential election, was arrested Friday by a brigade of the Directorate General of National Security at the Tunis-Béja motorway, under a detention warrant issued against him by an indictment chamber of the Tunis Court of Appeal.

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