Fourth conviction sentences Tunisia's Ben Ali to life imprisonment

A military court in Tunisia on Thursday sentenced former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in absentia, to life in prison over the killing of protesters in last year’s Jasmine Revolution, local media reports in Tunis.
The court in the capital, Tunis, also sentenced Ben Ali’s former presidential security chief, Ali Seriati, and former interior minister, Rafik Haj Kacem, to 20 years and 15 years imprisonment respectively.
Three other former regime members each received 10-year terms, Radio Mosaique and other media reported Thursday morning.
Unlike Ben Ali, who went into exile in Saudi Arabia last year, the other defendants are all being held in Tunisia.
The convictions relate to the killing of protesters in the Tunis area and five other governorates during the month-long revolution that ended 23 years of rule by Ben Ali on January 14, 2011.
More than 200 people died in the unrest. Most of the victims were unarmed protesters who were killed by police firing live bullets.
Ben Ali’s latest conviction is his fourth in absentia since his ouster.

In June, he was sentenced to 20 years by a military court in the western Kef region over the killing of protesters in that area.

Last year he received 35-year and 15-year terms in two trials over the theft of public funds and drugs and weapons possession.
Ben Ali has rejected all the charges against him.Saudi Arabia has, so far, shown no readiness to extradite him back to Tunisia to serve his sentences.


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