Former Tunisian president given 10 years for corruption

Tunisian ex-president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife issued prison sentences for corruption.

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Ben Ariel,

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Reuters

Tunisian ex-president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, were issued new 10-year prison sentences for corruption on Thursday, authorities said, according to AFP.

The two were found guilty by a court in Tunis in a case involving "administrative and financial corruption", said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti.

Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia for 23 years, has been living in exile with his wife in Saudi Arabia since they fled the country during the 2011 revolution, seen by many as the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

Since leaving Tunisia, Ben Ali has already been sentenced twice to life in prison for presiding over the bloody crackdown on the uprising against him.

He has also separately been sentenced to decades in prison along with his wife for embezzlement, illegal possession of narcotics, housing fraud and abuse of power.

In 2013, Ben Ali was given a five-year jail term in absentia and fined 3.5 million euros for corruption.

The latest case also saw two other officials convicted, including a former minister for the environment who was jailed for five years and another ministry official was sentenced to three, according to AFP.

A relative of Trabelsi was also sentenced to three years in prison.

A ministerial source said the case related to the "commercial use" of the Club Elyssa, in the grounds of a state-owned nature park in the suburbs of Tunis, where Trabelsi used to organize social gatherings.

Following Ben Ali’s ouster, Tunisia held democratic elections for the first time, which were won by the Islamist Ennahda party, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Ennahda was forced to step down shortly after being elected.