Tunisia’s Court ordered opposition leader Nabil Karoui’s release on Tuesday, six months after his imprisonment on charges of financial corruption and tax cheating. Karoui has been on a hunger strike since June 5 in protest of his lengthy detention.
According to Karoui’s lawyer, Nazih Souii, the court appears to have determined that Karoui, 57, the leader of the Qalb Tounès party, a member of the government coalition, had spent longer time in pre-trial custody than the maximum allowed by law. Mr. Karoui had not yet been released from prison, according to Souii.
Karoui, the founder of Tunisia’s biggest private station Nessma TV, which is partly controlled by Silvio Berlusconi, has been charged with money laundering and tax fraud since 2017.
He was arrested in 2019 and spent more than a month in prison during the election campaign, raising worries of a crackdown. He was arrested again last December after his release.
Karoui, whose presidential campaign was centered on anti-Islamism and the struggle against poverty, was largely beaten by Kas Saed, a newcomer to politics, amid a backdrop of popular rejection of the ruling elites following the 2011 revolution.