Italy expels Tunisian terror convict

4th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Ali Toumi, who is married to an Italian and has three children, had been fighting extradition for fear of torture in Tunisia.

Rome -- Italy on Sunday expelled a Tunisian jailed on terrorism charges, defying a ruling of the European Court of Justice by sending him back to his country where he fears he could face torture, his lawyer said.

Ali Toumi, who is married to an Italian and has three children, had been fighting extradition for fear of torture in Tunisia. He was seeking to remain in Italy on humanitarian grounds, his lawyer Barbara Manama said.

The European Court of Justice has on three occasions asked the Italian authorities not to proceed with Toumi's expulsion before deciding on his asylum request.

The Tunisian had been sentenced to six years in prison in 2003 for trying to recruit volunteers for operations in Iraq. He had served his sentence and had since May 18 been in a holding centre pending his extradition.

According to a Tunisian human rights group, Toumi on Saturday climbed onto the roof of the centre when he was informed of his expulsion and threatened to jump. He climbed down only after having received a promise that he would not be extradited but was taken Sunday to the airport in Rome.

The group's president, Mondher Sfar, had issued an appeal Sunday night to Terry Davis, secretary general of the top human rights authority, the Council of Europe, calling on him to intervene.

AFP/Expatica

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