Tunisia: Looted Assets in Switzerland - Civil Society Calls On President Saied to Request Extension of Freezing Measures

Tunis/Tunisia — Civil society organisations have revealed that the value of the funds of the family of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Switzerland affected by the lifting of the freezing measure is estimated at 320 MD.

These organisations call on the President of the Republic to request an extension of the application of the freezing measures, within the framework of judicial cooperation between Tunisia and Switzerland.

According to these organisations, Tunisia risks losing these assets misappropriated by the clan of former President Ben Ali, due to the expiry of the freezing of these assets at midnight on Tuesday January 19.

These organisations deplore the fact that successive governments have not dealt properly with the issue of the restitution of looted assets, "a priority issue" for all Tunisians.

Completing the process of restitution of Tunisian state property is "a moral duty" towards Tunisians, says the text of the declaration signed by ten associations, including Lawyers without Borders, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, Al-Bawsala, the "Tunisian Network for Transitional Justice".

On January 19, 2011, Switzerland had ordered the preventive freezing of the assets in Switzerland of Ben Ali and his entourage, a freeze which can last up to ten years.

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