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Africa

Ben Ali's defence lawyers request trial postponement

Video by Christophe DANSETTE , Shona BHATTACHARYYA

Latest update : 2011-06-20

Defence lawyers representing former Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali requested a postponement of his trial on Monday, blaming the court for not being more "diplomatic" in persuading Ben Ali to attend the court hearings.

AFP - The defence lawyer of ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Monday called for the postponement of his trial as it opened in his absence in Tunis.

Abdesattar Massoudi's request is to give attorneys appointed by the court more time to prepare their defence after the charges have been read.

Massoudi said the court should have been more "diplomatic" in convincing Ben Ali, who has lived in Saudi exile since fleeing the country on January 14, to attend the court hearings.

One of the assigned counsels told AFP late Sunday that the defence would ask for a postponement so he can meet Ben Ali.

The former strongman who denies any wrongdoing faces charges related to theft, drugs and weapons offences and is to be tried in connection with some 93 cases against him and his entourage.

He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
 

Date created : 2011-06-20

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