Tunisia: Nabil Karoui's Lawyers Decide to Refer to UN Working Group On Arbitrary Detention

Tunis/Tunisia — The defence group of the recently released Qalb Tounès president, businessman Nabil Karoui, said it had turned to the United Nations to prove that its client was in abusive detention. The legal period of preventive detention had expired.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Tunis, the members of the collective said they had referred the case to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Lawyer Hatem Chelli explained, in this connection, that the UN group is a parallel judicial structure that exercises a power of control and does not replace the Tunisian courts insofar as it investigates cases of arbitrary detention contrary to the law and international conventions.

He added that the file sent to the UN group contains the events of the case since the initiation of proceedings in 2016 to the investigation and detention.

Tunisia, which signed in 2011 the protocol relating to this working group, is called to answer all questions that will be asked through the mission of Tunisia in Geneva, he stressed.

He added that the collective has the right to respond to the points that will be raised as well as to the answers of the Tunisian state on this subject.

For his part, Lawyer Walid Sarsar explained that recourse to the expertise of the UN group is a right guaranteed by the Tunisian state, under a protocol signed in 2011.

This group will monitor compliance by the Tunisian justice and administration with the law (Article 85 of the Code of Criminal Procedure organising).

The criminal chamber of the Court of Cassation decided on Tuesday to release Nabil Karoui, overturning an earlier ruling that extended the businessman's pre-trial detention period.

Nazih Souii, a member of the collective, noted in a previous statement that Nabil Karoui's detention period had been exceeded since May 5.

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