Tunisian Dictator Sentenced in Absentia to 35 Years in Prison
The first Arab leader in the "Arab Spring" revolutions has been convicted and sentenced by a court, in absentia.
Former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced Tuesday by a judge in the capital, Tunis, to 35 years in prison and fined 91 million dinar ($65 million).
The ousted president's wife received the same sentence for the same crime.
Both were accused of embezzlement, and illegal possession of large sums of cash and jewelry, which were found in the president's palace after he fled to Saudi Arabia, according to the AFP news service.
In addition, a second set of charges is set to be considered in the Tunisian court on June 30. Included among the accusations are illegal possession of drugs and weapons that were found in a second presidential palace in Carthage, southeast of Tunis.
Other charges relating to the killing of protesters during the “Jasmine Revolution” – the grassroots uprising that toppled Ben Ali's longtime regime – are set to be considered in the near future.