Tunisia Ex-dictator Ben Ali Receives New Sentence

Tunisia’s ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been sentenced to five years in prison and pay a 3.5 million-euro fine for corruption.

Ben Ali received the sentence on absentia on Tuesday, after it was revealed that he had used his position “to provide for himself or a third party unfair advantages, causing harm to the administration,” the court ruling said.

Ben Ali and his wife fled Saudi Arabia in January 2011, where Saudi King Abdullah gave them refuge following popular uprisings which ended his 23-year rule.

Khaled Kobbi, a Tunisian businessman jailed in July 2011, was given a two-year jail term and fined 3.5 million euros in the same case.

The case referred to the acquisition of some 20 hectares of land to construct an industrial zone with public funds, before being sold on controversial circumstances.

Ben Ali has already received two life in prison sentences for his regime’s crackdown on protesters prior to his ouster in 2011.

According to United Nations figures, more than 300 people were killed and many others wounded in the former government crackdown on protests over corruption, unemployment, and high food prices.

Many of the victims died by live rounds fired by security forces during the January 2011 pro-democracy protests.

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