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Tunisia convicts Ben Ali in ‘Mariah Carey case’

Former Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, living in exile in Saudi Arabia since fleeing in 2011, has been convicted in absentia in several cases © AFP/File / Fethi Belaid

TUNIS, Mar 4 – Former Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali has been sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for corruption in connection with concerts given by US pop diva Mariah Carey, the prosecutors’ office told AFP late Friday.

Ben Ali, who is living in exile with his wife in Saudi Arabia since fleeing the north African country during the 2011 revolution, has already been convicted in absentia several times.

According to Tunisian media, “irregularities” tainted two concerts given by Carey in Tunisia in 2006, with some of the profits which should have gone to the National Solidarity Fund ending up elsewhere.

Eight people, including Ben Ali and Imed Trabelsi, a nephew of the ex-president’s wife, and former ministers were sentenced to six years in prison, the spokesman for the prosecutors’ office, Sofiene Sliti, said, without giving further details.

Imed Trabelsi was additionally sentenced to five years in prison for fraud.

Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia with an iron fist for 23 years until he was deposed in 2011, has since been convicted in several cases, including for corruption, and was also sentenced to life imprisonment over the bloody crackdown on demonstrations during the uprising against him, in which more than 300 people were killed.


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