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January 27, 2022

Ousted Tunisian strongman convicted

A Tunisian court sentenced ousted President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his wife to 35 years in prison in absentia on Monday after a one-day trial on corruption charges. Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, have been living in exile in Saudi Arabia since the January revolt that ended his 23-year rule and touched off a wave of uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East. In addition to the prison term, the court imposed a fine of 91 million dinars (USD 65 million). Defense attorneys Massoudi Abdsattar and Hosni Beiji said Ben Ali had not been informed in time to attend the hearing and had asked that the trial be postponed. Ben Ali and his wife faced a total of 93 counts stemming from the discovery of cash, weapons, jewelry and drugs in the presidential palace after the revolt.

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