22 February 2013 4:19 pm | | 0


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Opposition leader Chokri Belaid

Contrary to popular expectations, the Defense Committee of the Martyr Chokri Belaid did not officially disclose any details of the investigation into his assassination or reveal the identity of suspects during a press conference Friday morning in Tunis.

The committee is composed of a group of lawyers representing the interests of Belaid, an opposition leader who was gunned down outside his suburban Tunis home February 6. Minister of Interior Ali Laarayedh announced Thursday that arrests have been made related to the case.

In a personal statement at Friday’s conference, Faouzi Ben Mrad, a lawyer and chairman of the committee, said a witness told him that three Algerians had entered Tunisia through the Kasserine governorate and returned to Algeria again after Belaid’s murder.

The National Committee of Lawyers expressed dissatisfaction with Ben Mrad’s statements, which revealed information that should not be disclosed due to the ongoing investigation.

Journalists and others attending the conference said they thought the information he gave was insufficient.

Mrad claimed that Belaid was assassinated for political reasons and that a political party arranged the murder.

However, he declined to reveal the identity of this political party, saying that doing so could compromise the investigation.

Mokhtar Trifi, a lawyer and activist on the committee, did not rule out the possibility of bringing Belaid’s case before an international court.

“We will resort to the international court only if we realize that the national judiciary has failed to reveal the truth or when the investigations are disrupted,” Trifi said. “In this regard, the defense committee still trusts the Tunisian judiciary.”

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