Tunisian authorities have released a media-mogul-turned-politician on bail after he spent two months in jail on money laundering and tax evasion charges.
“The judge decided to release Nabil Karoui on bail of 10 million dinars ($3.7m). He must remain at the disposal of the courts,” assistant chief prosecutor Mohsen Dali told AFP news agency on Wednesday.
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Karoui, 58, was first arrested in August 2019 after being indicted on tax evasion and money laundering charges following an investigation that dated back to 2017.
The founder of Qalb Tounes, a secular party, Karoui finished second in the first round of Tunisia’s presidential election despite being behind bars but was released just in time for the runoff in October 2019, losing to President Kais Saied.
He was arrested again on December 24 over the same allegations.
Karoui founded Tunisia’s main private channel Nessma TV and presented himself as a candidate for the poor. He burnished his reputation in recent years with a charity show where he distributed household appliances to needy families.
Other politicians have often accused Karoui of corruption, and several proceedings have been opened against both him and his television station, which broadcasts without a licence.