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article imageFormer Tunisian president sentenced again after 2 life sentences

By Ken Hanly     Apr 16, 2013 in Politics
Tunis - The ex-president of Tunisia, Zine Ben Ali was given a five-year jail term in absentia and also fined 3.5 million euros for corruption. Ben Ali has already been given two life sentences.
Ben Ali was found guilty of have exploited his position to provide for himself and favored third parties unfair advantages a Tunis court ruled. Ben Ali fled Tunisia during the first Arab Spring uprising in January 2011 against his regime. He has been living in exile in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ever since. According to Wikipedia his wife, Leila, managed to smuggle out enough gold to meet their needs for some time: " Leila Ben Ali allegedly took 1.5 tonnes of gold from the central bank when she and her family fled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia".
Tunisia has managed to recover $28.8 million from a Lebanese bank account belonging to Leila. Late last year, the Tunisian government tried to earn some money by selling off assets of Ben Ali left behind in Tunisia:
"Tunisia's finance ministry is seeking to ease its stretched current account by selling off cars, jewellery, furniture, pictures and assorted bling confiscated from the deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his family."
Ben Ali was sentenced twice to life in prison for his role in the bloody crackdown on the uprising that ultimately overthrew his regime and started the Arab Spring. He, together with his wife, Leila Trabelsi, have also been given decades in prison for embezzlement, illegal possession of narcotics, housing fraud, and abuse of power. Ben Ali's clan and his wife's family had control over most business dealings in Tunisia. However, his regime was not without some economic successes as discussed in this article.
In February of 2011, Ben Ali was reported as having a serious stroke. Later, a Saudi source said he was in critical condition. However, his attorney claims to have met with him in June the same year and that his meeting took place in "normal circumstances".
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