Tunisian prosecutors opposed freeing Libya suspect



Tunis: Tunisian prosecutors were opposed to the release of a suspect in the attack on the US diplomatic mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed the ambassador, an official said on Thursday.

Ali Harzi, a 26-year-old Tunisian extradited from Turkey in October, was one of the only people actually detained over the attack, and at the time Tunisian authorities said they "strongly suspected" he was involved. A judge released him conditionally this week citing a lack of evidence, although he has to remain in the Tunis area to be available for further questioning.

Fawzi Jaballah, an adviser to Tunisia's Justice Ministry, confirmed on Thursday the prosecutor's office opposed the release.

On September 11, armed groups assaulted the lightly guarded Benghazi mission and killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Despite US promises, there has been little news of progress so far in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The US officials have complained about a lack of cooperation with the governments of the region, particularly Libya, in their ongoing investigation into the attack, saying most of the suspects remain free.

Mounting a coherent investigation is difficult for the Libyan government, especially in Benghazi, because authorities rely on the militias who fought and helped topple former leader Muammar Gaddafi and it is often difficult to draw clear lines between those providing security and those causing the instability.

PTI