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      Tunisia Releases Suspect in Benghazi Attack

      A court in Tunis ordered the release of Ali Hamzi, a Tunisian suspected of involvement in the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 1/8/2013, 4:46 AM

      Fire near U.S. consulate in Benghazi
      Fire near U.S. consulate in Benghazi
      AFP/File

      A court in Tunis on Monday ordered the release of Ali Hamzi, a Tunisian suspected of involvement in the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last September, his lawyer Abdelbasset Ben Mbarek said, according to AFP.

      The ruling came after Hamzi, 26, was interrogated by four FBI agents and a translator in Tunisia last month, in the absence of a defense lawyer, with Mbarek describing the methods used during the interrogation of his client as "scandalous."

      "He has returned to his family," the lawyer told AFP.

      "If he had been implicated in the attack, he would not have been released," he said, adding that his client remained under judicial control because he was still charged with belonging to a terrorist group.

      Hamzi was detained while trying to enter Turkey after the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, in which the ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, AFP reported.

      He was deported back to Tunisia in October, where he was charged with belonging to "a terrorist group based abroad."

      He had refused to be interrogated by FBI agents.

      Tunisia's justice ministry has defended its right to cooperate fully with the United States in combating terrorism.

      Others involved in the Benghazi attack were terrorists affiliated with the groups Ansar al Shari'a and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), based in Algeria.

      Another suspect arrested in connection with the Benghazi attack is believed to be organizing a new terror group.

      The suspect, Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed, was arrested in Egypt on suspicion of involvement in the attack.