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Tunisian suspect in attack on US consulate in Libya wants lawyers present at FBI interview

One of the only known suspects held in the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya wants any interrogation by the FBI to take place in a Tunisian judge's office with his attorneys present, one of his lawyers said Wednesday.

The Sept. 11 assault by armed men in the Libyan city of Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other American diplomats. Members of an Islamist militia are suspected in the strike.

Ali Harzi, a Tunisian, was detained in Turkey and extradited to Tunisia in October where authorities have said he is "strongly suspected" of being involved in attack. Harzi has been charged with "membership of a terrorist organization," and FBI investigators have expressed interest in interviewing him.

According to Harzi's lawyer Anwar Oued-Ali, the presiding judge ruled last week that the FBI could interrogate him along with Tunisia's judicial police at the police's headquarters. But when FBI and the Tunisian investigators came to interview Friday, he refused to speak with them.

On Monday, Harzi's legal team told the judge that he would cooperate with the interrogation, but that any interview must take place with attorneys present and in the judge's chambers, rather than on police premises.

Tunisians ousted their longtime dictator in 2011, but they still hold the police in great suspicion, especially due to past accusations that the police tortured suspects.

Harzi's lawyers also asked that a certified translator be present to avoid any misunderstandings during the interview. Oued-Ali said the judge's decision was expected Thursday.

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