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In Italy Court refuses extradition to Tunisia of museum attack suspect

Touil came to Italy on a migrant boat from Libya in February, before the attack, and was arrested in Milan in May under an international arrest warrant. Touil was 22 at the time of his arrest and denied any involvement in the assault.

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Moroccan citizen Touil Abdelmajid makes a victory sign as he arrives with migrants on the Italian navy ship Orione at Porto Empedocle harbour in Sicily February 17, 2015. Italian police said on May 20, 2015 they had arrested the 22-year-old Moroccan man suspected of involvement in the March 18 attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis which killed 20 tourists. Police in Milan said the man, named as Abdelmajid, had been sought by authorities in several countries. Picture taken February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello play Moroccan citizen Touil Abdelmajid makes a victory sign as he arrives with migrants on the Italian navy ship Orione at Porto Empedocle harbour in Sicily February 17, 2015. Italian police said on May 20, 2015 they had arrested the 22-year-old Moroccan man suspected of involvement in the March 18 attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis which killed 20 tourists. Police in Milan said the man, named as Abdelmajid, had been sought by authorities in several countries. Picture taken February 17, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello (Reuters)

An Italian court on Wednesday refused to extradite a Moroccan man suspected of having supplied weapons for the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunisia earlier this year because he might face the death penalty in the case.

Italy refuses to extradite suspects to any country if there is a risk they could be executed for the crime.

Separately, Milan prosecutors asked that the investigation into Abdelmajid Touil's alleged connection to the March 18 attack in Tunis -- in which 21 tourists were shot dead -- be dropped for lack of evidence, judicial sources said.

"The most serious crimes the accused faces are punished by death according to the Tunisian penal code," said Giovanni Canzio, the president of the Milan court of appeals. "Capital punishment impedes extradition because it is not foreseen by Italian law."

Tunisia had not given Italy any guarantee that Touil would not face the death penalty, Canzio said and ordered the release of the Moroccan after more than five months in custody.

There was no immediate comment from Tunisia.

Touil came to Italy on a migrant boat from Libya in February, before the attack, and was arrested in Milan in May under an international arrest warrant. Touil was 22 at the time of his arrest and denied any involvement in the assault.

A Tunisian government official said Touil had supplied arms to the militants prior to the attack and then boarded a boat for Italy.

His case fuelled fears that Islamist militants could be among the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean by boat to enter Europe in the past two years.

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