Tunisians handed death penalty for murdering cop

2015-12-30 18:44


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Tunis - Three Tunisians have been sentenced to death for murdering an unarmed young policeman as he returned home after his shift, a prosecutor says.

A fourth man, who is on the run, was sentenced to 22 years in jail for "inciting and helping to commit terrorist crimes", in reference to the January murder.

The four were convicted of cutting the throat of the 23-year-old policeman in El Fahs about 60km southwest of Tunis.

Following the murder, the interior ministry issued a directive allowing police officers to keep their weapons after their work day ended.

Aged 21 to 26, the three condemned to death were also given prison sentences of between 10 and 22 years for belonging to a terrorist group and incitement to commit terrorist crimes.

No further details were given on the circumstances of the murder and it was not clear whether those convicted had been charged with belonging to any specific group.

Tunisia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991 and it was unclear how many years the convicts would serve.

The three were also ordered to pay about $9 800 to their victim's parents.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of police and soldiers since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

This year alone, the Islamic State group claimed attacks on the national museum in Tunis and a popular resort hotel, killing a total of 59 tourists and the suicide bombing of a bus carrying presidential guards in which 12 of them died.

Read more on:    tunisia  |  security  |  north africa

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