Trial of Tunisia's ex-dictator to begin this month

AP News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2011 12:36 PM
Trial of Tunisia's ex-dictator to begin this month

Tunisia's justice ministry spokesman says the country's ousted strongman and his wife will soon be tried in absentia.

Kadhem Zine El Abidine said Friday he expects the trial of former president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and his wife to begin before the end of the month.

The proceedings stem from caches containing an estimated euro20 million ($29 million) in foreign currency, as well as jewels, drugs and arms, which were discovered in the presidential palace and elsewhere after the couple fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14 amid street protests.

Ben Ali and members of his family are facing 88 charges, including money laundering, premeditated murder and inciting the population to kill one another.

(This version corrects that Kadhem Zine El Abidine is justice ministry spokesman, not minister.)