Ben Ali Sentenced in Absentia to 15 Years in Jail

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Tuesday, 05 July 2011


bin_ali_tunisia_jos_newsOusted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison on charges of trafficking in drugs, weapons and archaeological artifacts.

The judge in the Tunisian court, Touhmi Hafi, read the verdict and sentence
"The accused is not present and is a fugitive", Hafi said, adding that Ben Ali was also given a fine of $72,000.

In Monday's trial, Ben Ali was accused of harboring drugs and weapons at his palace in the Carthage neighborhood north of Tunis, as well as drug trafficking.

Lawyers for the former president boycotted the trial, saying it was a sham.

His attorneys pressed for another postponement to allow them more time to prepare their defense.

After their request was turned down, the lawyers stormed out, blasting what they called "the disregard for the rights of the defense".

It was the second trial since Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia following a popular uprising last January.

On June 20, the ousted President was sentenced and his wife Leila Trabelsi to 35 years in prison for misappropriating public funds and also imposed a $65.3m fine.

">  after a one-day trial on Monday.

"The accused is not present and is a fugitive", Hafi said, adding that Ben Ali was also given a fine of $72,000.

In Monday's trial, Ben Ali was accused of harboring drugs and weapons at his palace in the Carthage neighborhood north of Tunis, as well as drug trafficking.

Lawyers for the former president boycotted the trial, saying it was a sham.

His attorneys pressed for another postponement to allow them more time to prepare their defense.

After their request was turned down, the lawyers stormed out, blasting what they called "the disregard for the rights of the defense".

It was the second trial since Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia following a popular uprising last January.

On June 20, the ousted President was sentenced and his wife Leila Trabelsi to 35 years in prison for misappropriating public funds and also imposed a $65.3m fine.

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