Tunisian ex-presidential candidate Nabil Karoui rearrested

Tunis (AFP) –


Controversial Tunisian media mogul and former presidential candidate Nabil Karoui was rearrested on Thursday in connection with an affair involving money laundering and tax evasion, a judicial spokesman said.

A judge from a unit dealing with financial crimes issued a warrant against Karoui, spokesman for the unit Mohsen Dali said, adding that Karoui was detained on Thursday.

Karoui was arrested in August last year after being indicted on tax evasion and money laundering charges stemming from a 2017 investigation.

Dali said Karoui was rearrested over the same affair.

The business tycoon came second in the first round of Tunisia's presidential polls despite being in prison. He was released days before the runoff in October 2019.

Karoui also founded the Qalb Tounes party, which came second in last year's legislative elections and now holds 30 of the chamber's 217 seats after a string of resignations.

It is an ally of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, which holds the most seats.

Karoui founded Tunisia's main private channel Nessma TV and presented himself as a candidate for the poor in the election.

He had burnished his reputation in recent years with a charity show on Nessma in which he distributed household appliances to needy families.

Other politicians have often accused Karoui of corruption, and several proceedings have been opened against him and Nessma TV, which broadcasts without a licence.