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Tunisia sentences four to death over 2013 killing of opposition leader

Tunisia has sentenced four people to death and handed life imprisonment to two others over the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid in 2013, the deputy public prosecutor of the anti-terrorist judicial division said.

A total of 23 people had been in charged in connection with the murder of leftist Belaid.

Sentences ranging from two to 120 years were handed down to other defendants, while five were acquitted.

Belaid, a fierce critic of the then ruling party Ennahda, was killed on February 6, 2013, in his car outside his home.

Tunisia still hands down death sentences, often in terrorism cases, despite a de facto moratorium put into effect in 1991.

Terrorists with allegiance to Daesh claimed Belaid’s assassination as well as that of Mohamed Brahmi, another left-wing opposition figure, six months later.

Authorities said in 2014 that Kamel Gadhgadhi, the main perpetrator in the case of Belaid, had been killed in an anti-terrorist operation.

Belaid and Brahmi were both staunch critics of Ennahda, the party that dominated Tunisian politics with a parliament majority for a decade following the 2011 Tunisian uprising.

The party’s political influence was cut short in July 2021, when President Kais Saied took over.

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