Tunisian courts convicts 19 Islamic militants

A Tunisian court convicted 19 Islamic militants on charges linked to plots to carry out attacks in the north African country or send fighters to Iraq, a defense lawyer said Thursday. Thirteen suspects were handed sentences on Saturday ranging from two to eight years, said lawyer Samir Ben Amor. Prosecutors had accused them of trying to set up a terror cell to carry out attacks in Tunisia - while some of its members had also sought to send Islamic fighters to Lebanon. Ben Amor claimed that the Tunis court did not give defense lawyers enough time to prepare or present their cases, nor did it ask questions of the suspects during the trial. Separately in the same court, six defendants were convicted Tuesday of establishing a military camp in Tunisia's northeastern Kef region designed to train fighters to be sent to Iraq, he said. The defendants in both cases have appealed, he said.