Dozens of Ben Ali yachts, cars seized

2012-02-03 12:41
Tunis - Tunisian authorities have seized dozens of yachts as well as cars, company shares and houses belonging to ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family, the TAP news agency said on Thursday.

Confiscated items include 34 vehicles, shares in 117 companies, 233 property deeds and 48 yachts and two homes, according to a ministry official quoted by the news agency.

The deposed president, who fled into exile in Saudi Arabia after he was toppled in January last year, is planning to challenge the seizures, his lawyer Akram Azoury said last month.

"President Ben Ali is planning to lodge a complaint against the Tunisian authorities with the Human Rights Committee in Geneva," the lawyer said, referring to a UN body made up of independent experts.

"It is not possible to confiscate the assets of a person before a ruling that respects the standards of a fair trial and rights of defence has been issued," he said.

Ben Ali has been convicted of economic crimes by Tunisian courts, and is also facing 18 lawsuits including allegations of murder, conspiracy against the state and drug use.

He was ousted after a popular uprising a year ago that sparked a chain of other revolutions across the Arab world, including Libya and Egypt.

In the aftermath of his downfall, some 200 companies including banks, insurers and car dealerships belonging to his family were confiscated.

Read more on:    zine el abidine ben ali  |  north africa

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