Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Alpha Condé reacts to Dadis Camara's bid to return home

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'We need an American in every train compartment'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

When China Sneezes: World markets rattled by bubble burst (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Desperate to get to Europe: How to handle migrant surge? (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Behind the scenes of France's National Assembly

Read more

#TECH 24

Saving water, one shower at a time

Read more

FOCUS

Katrina, ten years on: Young survivors still grapple with trauma

Read more

ENCORE!

Has New Orleans got its groove back?

Read more

REPORTERS

Meet the French troops hunting jihadists in Sahel

Read more

Africa

Ben Ali convicted on drugs and arms charges

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-04

Ousted Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced to 15 years in jail Monday on charges relating to the possession of drugs, arms, and archaeological artifacts. He is currently in Saudi Arabia and was sentenced in absentia.

AFP - A Tunis court on Monday sentenced ousted Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in his absence to 15 years in jail for possession of arms, drugs and archaeological artefacts.

In his second trial, Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia following a popular uprising in January, was also sentenced to a fine of 54,000 euros (78,500 dollars).

The trial before a Tunis court had been scheduled to take place last week but was postponed due to a judges' strike.

Ben Ali: Lawyer's reaction

The former strongman and his wife Leila Trabelsi had already been sentenced in their absence last month to 35 years in prison for misappropriating public funds after large sums of cash and jewellery were discovered in a police search of their palace.

In Monday's trial, Ben Ali alone was accused of harbouring drugs and weapons at his palace in the Carthage neighbourhood north of Tunis. He also faces a drug trafficking charge.

The presiding judge noted Ben Ali's absence for the record. "The accused is not present and is a fugitive," Judge Touhmi Hafi said.

Ben Ali's attorneys pressed for another postponement to allow them more time to prepare their defence.

After their request was turned down, the lawyers stormed out, with Hosni Beji blasting what he called "the disregard for the rights of the defence". Their exit triggered loud boos from the public.

"I am bitter. We did a good job. Our request for a delay is not a lawyer's whim. This trial is tainted by irregularities," Beji fumed.

 

Date created : 2011-07-04

  • TUNISIA

    Ben Ali to be tried over drugs and weapons cache

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Second Ben Ali trial delayed by strike

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Ben Ali trial in absentia a 'charade', critics say

    Read more

COMMENT(S)