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Tunisia rejects UN immunity claim for arms expert

AFP  |  Tunis 

on Thursday rejected a claim that an arms expert arrested in the North African country has and should be released.

Moncef Kartas, a member of the UN panel of experts on Libya, is a Tunisian-German dual national who was detained on arrival in on March 26.

The world body has reviewed case documents from Tunisian authorities and on Wednesday called for the charges to be dropped, making clear the files were unconvincing.

UN called for Kartas's immediate release and stated the expert holds diplomatic immunity, a claim rejected by on Thursday.

Kartas "does not have immunity, he entered with his Tunisian passport, and (the allegations) are not within the framework of his work at the UN," said Sofiene Sliti, for anti-terror prosecutors.

The UN expert is being prosecuted for having "collected information in relation to terrorism unofficially, which constitutes a dangerous crime," said Sliti.

The case files include "material used to check civil and military aviation, the use of which requires official authorisation," he added.

Kartas's lawyers have said that the charges were linked to the arms expert's possession of a device allowing him to have access to data on flights of civil and commercial aircraft.

His panel of experts investigates allegations of violations of the arms embargo and other sanctions imposed on

It has reported that arms and ammunition deliveries continue to reach warring parties despite the UN embargo -- with the involvement of member states.

Libya, which borders Tunisia, has seen an uptick in violence since launched an offensive on April 4 to take the capital from the UN-recognised government.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 21:56 IST