Tunisian court hands 15-year imprisonment to Ben Ali in absentia
Ben Ali gets 10 years imprisonment for possessing drugs and five years for keeping arms
July 4, 2011 11:46 pm EDT
Crime, Law And Justice, Prosecution
A court in Tunisia on Monday handed a 15-year jail sentence to ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in absentia on charges of possessing arms, drugs and archaeological artifacts.
This was the second trial since Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia following January’s popular uprising.
The court also mandated a fine of $78,500 to Ben Ali, who already received a 35-year prison senence last month along with wife Leila Trabelsi for misappropriating public funds. The sentence was announced after police discovered huge sums of cash and jwellery from their palace.
The court charged Ben Ali with keeping drugs and weapons at his Carthage neighborhood palace in northern Tunis and drug trafficking and sentenced him 10 years for possessing drugs, five years for possessing arms and another six months of artifacts.
Even before the announcement of the court’s verdict, Ben Ali's lawyers said, "Today's trial, just like yesterday's trial and the 93 other scheduled trials, is nonexistent as it breaches all standards of a fair trial."
"Today's trial is part of a political smear campaign against ex-president, which is aimed at portraying him as a drugs, weapons and currency smuggler," he added.
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