Ben Ali denounces conviction

2011-06-22 13:18

Paris - Ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Tuesday denounced his "legally insane" 35-year jail sentence for embezzling public funds, his Paris-based lawyer said.

Ben Ali said that "after less than two hours of hearings... the court [in Tunis] delivered a sentence that is judicially insane but politically opportune", lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne said in a statement.

The ousted strongman viewed the court's speedy verdict - after six hours of deliberations - on the first day of the landmark trial as a "parody of justice", the statement added.

The "political liquidation... expresses the blind hatred of the past that fails to hide the lack of any vision of the future", it said.

Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi were charged with embezzlement after the discovery of money and jewellery at their palace on the outskirts of Tunis.

The ex-president was also fined 50 million dinars ($36m) and his wife 41 million dinars.

Judge Touhami Hafi said the sentences, which exceeded the 20 years that had been widely predicted, would take immediate effect despite the couple living in exile in Saudi Arabia, which has so far ignored Tunisia's demands to extradite Ben Ali.

  • Dave - 2011-06-22 13:28

    If that happens in South Africa, you will more MP's in prison than in parliment.

  • TheWasp - 2011-06-22 13:55

    35 years for embezzling??? here you get early retirement with full pay and a golden handshake.... Too bad, so sad for you bud, you should have been tried here in Sunny ANC South Africa

  • AmandaWhereTo - 2011-06-22 14:06

    A corrupt African leader?? This is news to me! It must have been the whites. Bloody agents...

      mursebul - 2011-06-22 14:55

      Bloody Agents, Bast@rds!!! heheeh, well said!

  • Rover_ZA - 2011-06-22 14:08

    Despite the fact that he was the former tyrant and they undoubtedly want him to pay, the people there agreed this trial was a charade. A people that puts justice ahead of emotion. Respect!

  • sobeit - 2011-06-22 14:11

    ANC elite be afraid, be very afraid, your day will come at the hand of your own.

  • mursebul - 2011-06-22 14:53


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