#tunisia Nabil Karaoui, the leader of a liberal party who came second in the 2019 presidential election in Tunisia, was hospitalized three days after launching a hunger strike to protest the continuation of his remand, a judicial source said on Tuesday.
Karaoui, 57, leader of the Kalb Towns party, a member of the Government Coalition, opposes his continued pre-trial detention beyond the legal deadline as part of a money laundering investigation, and calls for his release.
According to the party, Karaoui has been held “illegally” since the end of the maximum period of pre-trial detention on May 5, which is six months in Tunisia, and can only be extended by a judge’s decision.
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The founder of the main Tunisian private channel Nesma TV, which is partly owned by Silvio Berlusconi, Karaoui has been on trial since 2017 for money laundering and tax evasion.
He was arrested in 2019 and then spent more than a month in jail in the midst of an election campaign, fearing becoming an instrument of justice.
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Released, he was arrested again last December, and has since been in preventive custody for the same case.
Karaoui, whose presidential program focused on anti-Islamism and the fight against poverty, was largely defeated by Kais Sayed, an academic freshman in politics, against the backdrop of the rejection of the elite in power since the 2011 revolution.