Tunisia condemns 3 jihadists to death for murder of police

AFP , Friday 20 Nov 2015

A court has condemned three Tunisian jihadists to death, including two tried in absentia, for the murder of a policeman in 2013 who had his throat slit, the judiciary said Thursday.

Nine Tunisians accused of belonging to a "terrorist group" were tried for the May 2013 murder in Jbeil Jloud, a suburb of Tunis.

Apart from the death sentences, two defendants were jailed for life and the four others, including one also tried in absentia, were handed prison terms of between three and 20 years, a judicial source told AFP.

Rached Ghannouchi, president of the Islamist movement Ennahda which headed the government at the time, said the policeman had had his throat slit and was struck with a sword "on the basis of a fatwa (religious edict) from the imam" of the assailants.

Tunisia has observed a moratorium on executions since 1991 but carried out 135 death sentences since its independence from France in 1956.

Faced with an upsurge in jihadist violence that has killed dozens of police and soldiers since the country's 2011 revolution, a new law adopted in July maintains the death sentence despite the appeals of rights group for it to be abolished.

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