Tunisia: Justice rejects TV request to interview detained presidential candidate

A court of appeal in Tunis has rejected the demand by a local television to interview media mogul and presidential candidate Nabil Karoui who is in prison, though the electoral commission has greenlighted the request.

The electoral commission reportedly issued an authorization for El Hiwar Ettounsi to interview Karoui at Mornaguia prison amid ongoing presidential campaigns.

Arrested in August on money laundering charges, Karoui is among the 26 candidates for the September 15 elections. The candidate, though in custody, can still run for the elections until proven guilty by justice, the electoral commission said.

Tuesday, the court rejected the interview request on the basis of articles 30 and 35 on the organization of prisons adopted in May 2011. The articles state that only the ministry of interior or the prison management can issue an authorization to visit an inmate.

Article 35 stipulates that people with no bonds with the inmate only pay him/her visit upon an authorization from justice. The visit takes place in a room, in the presence of the prison director or his deputy.

Last Saturday, the justice did not allow Karoui to take part in the first ever presidential public debate. Karoui was drawn to face eight other candidates, but his spot was left empty.

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