News24

Tunisia's Ben Ali denies charges

2011-06-17 22:08

Paris - An attorney representing Tunisia's ousted dictator has denied the charges against him and dismissed his upcoming trial as politically motivated.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 in the midst of a popular uprising and is to be tried in absentia next week on charges including money laundering, abuse of power, and drug trafficking.

Those charges stem from images broadcast on Tunisian television showing caches of arms and large sums of cash in one of Ben Ali's palaces.

Asked Friday about the caches, Ben Ali's Paris-based lawyer, Jean-Yves Lebornge, responded that the weapons were "gifts".

He dismissed the trial as a bid by those now in power to eradicate the past.