First Published: 2013-04-06

 

Authorities in Tunisia ignore new court order: Sami Fehri remains in custody

 

Lawyer says he has met Justice Minister Nadhir Ben Ammou but that no solution has been found, adding he hopes issue might be resolved 'on Monday.'

 

Middle East Online

Media reeling under pressure from Ennahda

TUNIS - The authorities in Tunisia are refusing to free TV station owner Sami Fehri despite a new court order for his release, his lawyer said on Saturday, adding talks were under way with the justice ministry.

"It's a legal problem," Abdelaziz Essid said.

"The judges in the Court of Cassation said (on Friday) that Sami Fehri must be released, but the ministry has a different view. There's a contradiction: it is a legal problem that will have to be solved by legal means."

Fehri was detained in August last year in a move NGOs denounced as an attempt by the authorities to silence their critics.

Essid said he had met Justice Minister Nadhir Ben Ammou on Friday but that no solution had been found, adding he hoped the issue might be resolved "on Monday."

The lawyer said the minister, an independent in the Islamist-led coalition government who took office at the beginning of the month, was fully briefed on the situation.

"I am optimistic," Essid added.

The Court of Cassation first ruled that Fehri be freed last November, but he remained in custody.

In its latest ruling, the court also referred the case back to a lower court.

Fehri gave himself up to the authorities last August after being charged with "illegal use of Tunisian state television resources" during the rule of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, at the risk of being jailed for 10 years.

His Ettounsiya television channel had aired a controversial satirical programme critical of the government.

Fehri, who founded Ettounsiya in March 2011, two months after the revolution swept Ben Ali from power, had been involved with a production company belonging to Belhassen Trabelsi, the former president's brother-in-law.

His detention last August caused uproar, notably because it came just days after he announced having pulled the satirical show "Guignols" (French for "puppets") under pressure from the Islamist party Ennahda, which heads the coalition government.

 

Libya jihadists declare Benghazi ‘Islamic emirate’

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Identification of Air Algerie crash victims ‘could take years’

Philippines prepares to evacuate 13,000 citizens from Libya

Jihadists fight on more than one front in Syria

Sudan Christian woman chooses US as final destination to settle down

France moves to disband violent Jewish group

Chief of Iran Quds Force ridicules calls to disarm Hamas

US supports Israel with weapons, Gaza with sweet words

Syria Kurds battle jihadists killing nearly 50

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce