SA Police released the Tunisian owner of Britain's Islam Channel after holding him for two days on an international terror warrant issued by his homeland, saying on Wednesday that Tunisia had failed to respond to queries about the case, writes Donna Bryson on New24.com.
Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi also said on Wednesday that Britain did not consider Muhammed Ali Harrath a threat. Harrath returned to Britain on a Wednesday morning flight.
He had been arrested late on Sunday at OR Tambo International Airport upon arrival from London.
Zondi said Harrath could not be held beyond 48 hours without word from Tunisian police about whether the warrant issued through Interpol in 1992 was still valid, and Tunisia did not respond to South African queries.
Comment from Tunisian authorities was not immediately available.
After failing to get word from Tunisia, South Africa contacted police in Britain, where Harrath lives. Zondi quoted Scotland Yard as saying it "does not regard the suspect as a threat to security".
'Who are we to call him a threat?'
"We were awaiting information from the country that had put him on red alert in the first place, which was Tunisia," Zondi told The Associated Press, saying Harrath was released late Tuesday.
"They say it's about terrorism. We don't know."
Zondi said that with no confirmation from Tunisia and the report from Britain, "who are we to call him a threat?"
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