By Hadi Fornaji,
Tunis, 10 May 2015:
A Tunisian judge, sent . . .[restrict]to Beida last Saturday to investigate reports that the two missing Tunisian journalists, Sofiane Chourabi and Nadhir Gtari, had been killed , says he has been told they are now dead.
They were kidnapped last September.
A week and a half ago, the Libyan Justice Ministry said that they and five journalists working for Cyrenaica TV had been murdered by the Islamic State (IS). The disclosure followed the arrest of a Libyan and three Egyptians, thought to be IS members, who allegedly said that all seven had been murdered and their bodies buried near the IS stronghold of Derna.
According to the Tunisian News Agency, the judge, Sofiene Sliti, interviewed two of the detainees who confirmed the reports. He has nonetheless warned that, as hearsay evidence, what they told him did not constitute irrefutable proof that the journalists were dead.
In January, IS said it had executed the two but this was dismissed by the Tunisian authorities who indicated that they were in contact with the kidnappers, that the two were still alive and that they might be released soon.
It now appears that the Tunisians had been duped by the kidnappers or their intermediaries, or chose to avoid the truth. [/restrict]