Deposed leader Ben Ali’s trial begins in Tunisia

A magistrate’s court in the Tunisian capital began hearing a case against Ben Ali and his wife Leila for theft and fraud over the discovery of millions of dollars in cash and jewellery at one of their palaces after they fled the country for Saudi Arabia on January 14.

Ben Ali is also on trial for weapons and drugs seizures at another palace.

The trial is the first of a former head of state toppled by the ongoing wave of pro-democracy protests in the Arab world.

Ben Ali was ousted after a month of street protests over corruption, repression and hardship, which went on to inspire similar protests in Egypt, Libya and other countries throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Gulf.

The charges, which the 74-year-old ex-leader denies, each carry sentences of up to 20 years, and are just the first of a total of 93 charges, including torture and premeditated murder, facing the autocratic president of 23 years and his entourage.

For many Tunisians the satisfaction of seeing Ben Ali face justice has been mitigated by the fact that he will not be present at his trial.

Saudi Arabia has ignored Tunisia’s requests to have him extradited. — Sapa-dpa

Claire Byrne
Clare Byrne
Claire Byrne is an Irish journalist and television presenter who presents Claire Byrne Live. She is best known for presenting The Daily Show from September 2010 to March 2012. In 2013, Byrne became an anchor on RTÉ's flagship current affairs programme Prime Time.
Advertisting

Aggett tormentor had a ‘morbid’ obsession — Barbara Hogan

The former minister told the inquest into the trade unionist Neil Aggett’s death that security branch interrogator Stephan Whitehead was voyeuristic

ANC and the state step back from taking action against...

Despite alleged abuses of power and people’s trust, the ANC appears to have abandoned plans to reform the controversial Ingonyama Trust Board
Advertising

Press Releases

UKZN scientists make the grade

Dr Veron Ramsuran and Dr Lenine Liebenberg have been named in the African Academy of Science's top 40 list.

Wellcome Trust award goes to UKZN mental health champion

Dr Andr? J van Rensburg, a senior researcher in UKZN's Centre for Rural Health, received the Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award.

MTN gears up to deliver improved customer service

On 28 January, the first batch of MTN contract customers will be migrated onto the new customer service platform.

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity