Tunisia - Court Jails Ousted President's Brother-in-Law

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Belhassen Trabelsi, the brother-in-law of the former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, has been handed a 10-year jail term for corruption, according to state media.

A Tunisian court has sentenced Belhassen Trabelsi to 10 years in jail, state run news agency TAP reported on Tuesday.

Trabelsi is the brother-in-law of ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Charges against Trabelsi

Trabelsi and another man, Sami Fehri -- the owner of El Hiwar TV -- were sentenced for using state television resources for the benefit of a private company.

They were alleged to have been involved in transferring advertising revenues. Fehri was sentenced to eight years.

The court jointly fined the two men 40 million dinars ($14.51 million/€12.2 million).

The proceedings, known as the "Cactus Prod case" after a television group created by Fehri, involves the two suspects as well as the former minister adviser to the deposed president and four former television executives.

A court spokesman said there would be no further trials.

Extradition request to France

Trabelsi is currently in France, and Tunisian authorities have said they have presented all the necessary documents relating to his extradition request.

Among the documents sent to the French authorities are the judicial guarantees to prevent any "inhumane treatment."

A French appeals court in the town of Aix-en-Provence had issued an opinion against the extradition. It refers to a "real risk of inhumane and degrading treatment and lack of controls in case of ill-treatment in detention."

Ben Ali, who governed the country for 23 years and died in exile in 2019, was the first autocratic leader brought down by the uprisings that swept the region. Tunisia has been the only Arab Spring country to make a peaceful transition to democracy.

(Reuters, TAP)

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