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Tunisia: judicial authority denies suspending Bhiri case

Detained deputy leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Noureddine Bhiri ​[AFP/Getty images
Tunisia’s Ennahda Noureddine Bhiri, 3 January 2022 [AFP/Getty images]

The official spokeswoman for Tunisia's Counter-Terrorism Judicial Authority, Hanan Kadas, has denied that the investigating judge assigned to the case involving Ennahda Movement's Noureddine Bhiri has suspended it pending the issue of a judgement by the Administrative Court. Bhiri is accused of forging Tunisian nationality documents and passports, and the judgement is awaited in respect of a claim of overreaching authority filed by his defence team.

According to Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP), Kadas confirmed that the investigating judge did not take this decision and he is in the process of considering the defence's request and examining its validity.

However, defence lawyer Sami Tariqi said yesterday that the consideration of his client's case has been suspended as per Article No. 132 of the Code of Criminal Procedures pending a final judgement of the lawsuit filed by the defence team before the Administrative Court regarding overreaching authority. The lawsuit is also related to the extent of the competence of the investigating judge No. 31, who was assigned to the file instead of investigating judge No. 13, who was dismissed.

The investigating judge of the Counter-Terrorism Judicial Authority was scheduled to listen to Bhiri on Tuesday after his hearing was postponed on 4 January. The session on 4 January was itself a postponement from 6 December last year.

READ: Ennahda considers lift of Bhiri house arrest as proof of innocence

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