Algeria’s interior minister denied Monday reports that his country has extradited the suspected assassin of Tunisia’s slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid.
Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia denied Algerian authorities even have a suspect in their custody.
The statements came after Tunisia’s Echorouk newspaper reported that Algeria extradited Kamel Kadkad, suspected of killing Belaid.
“Belaid’s supposed killer was arrested by the Algerian authorities following information obtained through a sophisticated satellite. He was extradited to Tunisia while the examining judge was not notified by the Tunisian concerned authorities,” according to the paper.
Following the assassination of Belaid on Feb. 6, 2013, speculations rose that the suspected assassin crossed the border to Algeria.
Tunisians authorities initially blamed “extremists” for Belaid’s killing and later announced the arrest of a Hardline IslamistSecular groups have accused the Islamist-led government of a lax response to attacks by ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamists on cinemas, theatres, bars and individuals in recent months.
After Belaid’s killing - Tunisia’s first such political assassination in a decade - Hamadi Jebali resigned as prime minister after he failed to form a cabinet of technocrats to take Tunisia to elections in a bid to restore calm.
Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki has asked Interior Minister Ali Larayedh to form the new government.
The so-called Jasmine Revolution that toppled Ben Ali in January 2011 was the first of the Arab Spring revolutions.
Tunisia’s political transition has been more peaceful than those in other Arab nations such as Egypt, Libya and Syria, but tensions are running high between Islamists elected to power and liberals who fear the loss of hard-won liberties.