Tunisian Court Finds Former President Guilty of Financial Crimes
Posted on Jun 20, 2011
He wasn’t present to hear the verdict in person, but Monday a local court found Tunisia’s deposed president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, guilty of embezzlement and making personal use of public funds, according to The New York Times. Ben Ali and his wife, who was also charged, were slapped with 35-year jail sentences and a fine to the tune of $66 million—and that’s not where their legal troubles back home may end. —KA
The New York Times:
He still faces charges for the possession of illegal drugs, firearms and archaeological relics found in his palaces, as well as for ordering the killing of civilians in his bid to cling to power. The verdict Monday, after the one-day trial, focused on $27 million in jewels and public money reportedly found at one of his mansions.
Mr. Ben Ali’s ouster in January started the Arab Spring and inspired the Egyptian uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak a month later. Egyptians are watching the court proceedings closely as they prepare for Mr. Mubarak’s trial this summer. Both have stirred debate over how to balance public demands for swift justice with a more deliberative demonstration of the rule of law.
Wikimedia Commons / R. D. Ward
President Ben Ali at his palace in Tunis, Tunisia, in 2000.