Tunis: A Tunisian court delayed for the third time today the appeals trial of Islamists accused of attacking the US embassy in 2012, with numerous defendants and lawyers absent.
The appeals court in Tunis adjourned the trial until July 1 to appoint a lawyer for two of the accused, the judge said after a brief hearing.
The trial had already been postponed in January and March, because the prosecution failed to summon two thirds of the defendants to court.
But despite an official summons, only seven of the accused appeared at today`s hearing.
Last year, the public prosecutor appealed the two-year suspended jail terms given to 20 suspects for their roles in the attack, after the United States and Tunisia strongly criticised the leniency of the sentences.
Hundreds of angry Islamist protesters attacked the US mission in Tunis after an American-made film mocking their religion was published on the Internet, unleashing a wave of violence across the Muslim world.
Tunisia`s Islamist-led government accused the radical Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia of orchestrating the attack in which four of the assailants were killed.