(TUNIS) -- Tunisia’s interim prime minister, Beji Caid Essebsi, has announced that former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali will face trial in absentia on June 20.
Ben Ali and his family fled to Saudi Arabia following the January uprisings that forced him to resign after 23 years in office. Tunisia asked Saudi Arabia to extradite Ben Ali to Tunisia, but so far they have not responded.
Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi face over 90 charges ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering as well as crimes of murder and torture. If convicted of the lesser crimes, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Mr. Ben Ali’s lawyer, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, says the charges against him were a masquerade and that his client was a sacrificial lamb.
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