Tunisian police ‘cowards’ are back at beach resort

The TimesBel Trew, Sousse
At least five of the Tunisian policemen branded cowards for the bungled response during the massacre at the Imperial Marhaba are still working in the town and assigned to protecting tourists, The Times can reveal.

The officers were detained in January on the orders of a Tunisian judge, Bechir Akremi, who wrote a coruscating report about the inadequate security response to the June 2015 shooting.

The details of the report into the 38 deaths led Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith, coroner at the Tunisia inquests in Britain, to say that the Tunisian security forces’ response was “at best shambolic, at worst cowardice”.

Judge Akremi’s findings detailed a litany of failings, which the officers dispute. It was submitted in summary to the seven-week inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, and found that lives could have been saved if the armed officers had acted.

It has never been published in Tunisia and is subject to fierce criticism.

Several police sources in Tunis and Sousse told The Times that at least six officers, whose names and ranks match up with those in the report, were arrested for “cowardice and incompetence” but were released on February 12 after intense pressure from the Tunisian interior ministry.

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