Tunisia's highest court orders release of TV head known for satirical puppet show

The Associated Press

TUNIS, Tunisia - The lawyer for a prominent jailed TV station owner says Tunisia's highest court has struck down an order for his incarceration over a charge of "illegal earnings" pending against him.

Attorney Sonia Dahmani said Wednesday that the Cassation Court said her client, Sami Fehri of Ettounsiya TV, would soon be freed after three months imprisonment.

The case garnered a great deal of attention in Tunisia, where many have suggested the trial against Fehri has been motivated in part by his station's critical stance towards the government — especially in a satirical puppet show.

Fehri is accused of making illegal financial gains in a series of advertising contracts with public television.

Fehri also had close ties to Belhassen Trabelsi, brother-in-law of deposed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.