UN calls on Tunisia to immediately release UN expert on Libya Moncef Kartas
16/05/2019 10:25, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – The United Nations called Tunisia on Wednesday to immediately release Moncef Kartas, the member of the Security Council’s Sanctions Panel of Experts on Libya, detained since March 26, and to drop the charges of espionage brought against him, affirmed UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The Organisation requests the “immediate release and dropping charges against him,” Dujarric pointed out at a press conference held on Wednesday in New York

“The United Nations remains very concerned by the continued detention and prosecution of Kartas by the Tunisian authorities, which is in violation of the privileges and immunities that have been granted to Kartas in the interests of the United Nations,” Dujarric added.

Kartas, member of the Security Council’s Sanctions Panel of Experts on Libya since 2016, was arrested on March 26 upon arrival in Tunis.

Spokesperson for the Counter-Terrorism Judicial Pole Sofiene Selliti had told TAP on April 11 that “the UN expert is suspected of espionage and cannot have immunity insofar as the case against him concerns the pursuing of personal interests.”

According to Selliti, Kartas did not return to Tunisia as part of a UN mission as he was holding a Tunisian passport, not a UN one, and giving the fact that he is in charge of a UN mission in Libya and not in Tunisia, thus he cannot enjoy from the immunity applied as part of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

One of the investigating judges of the Counter-Terrorism Court had issued two arrest warrants against Kartas and another Tunisian national over "collecting security intelligence and data relating to the fight against terrorism and their disclosure in circumstances other than those authorised by law."

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