A Tunisian guerrilla group on Friday (28 March) threatened reprisals if death sentences were carried out on fifteen people convicted on Thursday (27 March) of taking part in an anti-government commando attack.
GV & SV Soldiers outside courthouse (2 shots)
GV INTERIOR Court in Session
SV Accused men
GV One of the accused in front of panel of judges (2 shots)
SV Lawyers looking on
GV PAN FROM Lawyer speaking to accused and judges listening (2 shots)
SV and GV Accused standing up (4 shots)
SV Reporters taking notes
GV Judges coming back into court
GV People in court watching
SV Judge reading verdict and accused listening (4 shots)
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Background: A Tunisian guerrilla group on Friday (28 March) threatened reprisals if death sentences were carried out on fifteen people convicted on Thursday (27 March) of taking part in an anti-government commando attack.
A spokesman for the 'Tunisian Liberation' told a news agency in Beirut that Tunisian government buildings and embassies would be attacked if the fifteen were executed.
SYNOPSIS: The Tunis court, where the trial began on March 10, was heavily guarded. Sixty men and youths were accused of taking part in a guerrilla attack in January on the southern Tunisian phosphate mining town of Gafsa. Forty eight people died and more than one-hundred were wounded in the attack.
The accused pleaded for the clemency of the court, but the prosecuting council demanded the death sentence to be imposed on all those that bore arms in the attack. The prosecutor, in summing up, accused the Libyan regime of subversive actions.
Thirty two of the accused were sentenced and twenty acquitted. Fifteen were condemned to death. They included well known activists and young men, mostly from the south who had been unemployed and moved to Libya where they underwent military training.
Other sentences ranged from life imprisonment with hard labour to one six months suspended sentences. Those convicted included three government workers, accused of accepting bribes to allow a supply of arms to be smuggled into to Tunisia. They claim they pleaded guilty to avoid being beaten by police.