Cape Town — A Tunisian appeals court on Wednesday (October 9, 2019) freed presidential candidate Nabil Karoui from prison, Al Jazeera reports.
The ruling came days before Sunday's second-round runoff presidential election.
A media mogul, Karoui was detained in August before the first round of the election and has spent the campaign period in prison pending a verdict in his trial for money laundering and tax evasion, which he denies.
"The appeals court has decided to immediately free Nabil Karoui," his lawyer Kamal Ben Massoud was quoted as saying.
The Associated Press reports that Karoui left the prison outside Tunis to be greeted by a crowd of joyous supporters who welcomed him with honking horns, shrieks of joy and small fireworks. He made no formal statement as he left, but was expected to hold a news conference.
The country has also voted in parliamentary elections and results put Karoui's recently founded party in second place.
Tunisia's coming presidential election on Sunday is the second since the 2011 revolution that toppled longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, AP reports.