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Ousted leader Ben Ali sentenced in absentia to life in prison

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-19

Ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced in absentia to life in prison by a military court for complicity in the murder of protesters during the revolt that toppled his regime in January 2011.

AFP - Tunisia's ex-strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison for complicity in the murders of 43 protesters in the 2011 revolution that toppled him, a judge said on Thursday.

Hedi Ayari of the Tunis military court said Ben Ali was judged with around 40 of his former officials, including General Ali Seriati, ex-head of presidential security, who was given a 20-year prison term.

Former interior minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem was sentenced to 15 years, while the case against Ahmed Friaa, another former interior minister, was dismissed.

Families of the victims reacted angrily, saying the sentences for Seriati and Kacem were too lenient and criticising the dismissal of the case against Friaa.

The defendants were accused in connection with the 43 deaths and the wounding of 97 other people.

In all, more than 300 people died in the popular uprising that erupted in December 2010 and led to Ben Ali fleeing into exile in Saudi Arabia the following month.

The ousted president has already been sentenced in his absence to a number of heavy sentences.

He has been sentenced to more than 66 years in prison in three separate trials, including for embezzlement, illegal possession of weapons and narcotics, housing fraud and abuse of power.
 

Date created : 2012-07-19

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