Tunis: The trial of Tunisian television chief Sami Fehri, accused of corruption during the rule of now-toppled strongman Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali, opened on Friday with the defence requesting his release.
Fehri, who runs the private Ettounsiya TV and was a business partner of Bin Ali’s fugitive brother-in-law Belhassen Trabelsi, was arrested last August accused of having illegally used state television funds to bolster his own production company Cactus Prod.
If found guilty he could be sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Six former regime officials are being tried alongside Fehri on similar charges of corruption, including Abdul Waheb Abdullah, a former Bin Ali adviser.
They also risk a 10-year jail sentence if convicted.
Friday’s hearing was brief and devoted to procedure, but the defence team urged the court to free Fehri on bail, a request that has been denied in the past but will be considered.
It was not immediately clear when the next hearing will take place.