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FBI quizzes Libya attack suspect without lawyers

Tunisian was involved in a deadly September raid on US consulate

The US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames
Image Credit: Reuters
The US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States on September 11, 2012.
Gulf News

Tunis: FBI agents on Friday questioned a Tunisian man suspected of involvement in a deadly September attack on the US consulate in Libya, but in the absence of defence lawyers, his solicitor said.

“The judge prevented any lawyers from attending the questioning” of Ali Hamzi, Abdul Basit Bin Mubarak told AFP, adding that his client was interrogated as a suspect rather than as a witness.

He added that the American investigators themselves were not opposed to him being present.

The questioning continued late on Friday and was carried out by four FBI agents and a translator, Bin Mubarak said, adding that the judge’s decision was “disgraceful.”

Hamzi, 26, refused on December 4 to be interrogated by FBI agents, with Mbin ubarak denouncing what he called “interference” in the Tunisian judicial system.

The Tunisian police are cooperating with US investigators over the September 11 attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi that killed four Americans including ambassador Christopher Stevens, the interior ministry said.

Hamzi, who was arrested in Turkey and transferred to his home country exactly a month after the attack on the US mission, has been charged with belonging to “a terrorist group based abroad.”