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Tunisia: Imprisonment for MP Seifeddine Makhlouf

Seifeddine Makhlouf, Tunisian lawyer, leaves a polling station in the capital Tunis on October 6, 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Seifeddine Makhlouf, Tunisian lawyer, leaves a polling station in the capital Tunis on October 6, 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Lawyer Samir Dilou revealed on Friday that the Military Court of Appeal ruled to imprison lawyer and member of the dissolved parliament Seifeddine Makhlouf for one year, as Makhlouf was accused of: "Insulting and threatening a judge in the corridor of the military court."

Dilou confirmed that the court also banned Makhlouf from practising law for five years, confirming that the judgment was "issued without pleadings."

In a post on Facebook, Dilou announced: "The Military Court of Appeal issued a judgment of one-year imprisonment against lawyer and member of parliament Seifeddine Makhlouf besides banning him from law practice for five years. The judgment was issued without pleadings after the court received a delay request by the attorneys provided that the case be adjudicated after negotiation."

The General State Agency of the Administration of Military Judiciary reportedly confirmed on Tuesday that the military investigative judge decided to issue a detention order against Makhlouf.

The agency stated that Makhlouf attended the military court on Monday for an interrogation of member of the dissolved parliament Nidhal Saoudi as he is a defendant in what is known as the "airport case".

READ: Tunisia Parliament votes unanimously to abolish Saied's measures

The agency confirmed that Makhlouf wanted to represent Saoudi. However, this is prohibited by law since Makhlouf faces a conflict of interest as he is being prosecuted in the same case.

The agency added that Makhlouf insulted and threatened a military judge in the chamber of investigation at the military court. Makhlouf also informed him that all the names of participants in the coup were registered, including those who participated in military trials, according to information Makhlouf received from foreign parties.

The Administration of Military Judiciary considered Makhlouf's actions a violation and insult of the judiciary institution and a blatant threat to military judges within the court's chambers.

The attorney general at the Military Court of Appeal was informed of the incident and ordered to open a judicial investigation against Makhlouf by the Military Investigation Clerk as per law.

The administration noted that given the state of the flagrante delicto, the military investigative judge decided to issue a detention order against Makhlouf.

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