Tunisia Ex-Prez Gets 35 Years, $65.6M Fine

Ben Ali and wife convicted in absentia
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2011 3:14 PM CDT
Tunisia's Deposed Leader Zine EL Abidine Ben Ali Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison, $65.6M Fine
Judge Touhami Hafi chairs the Tunis Criminal Court, Monday, June 20, 2011, for the hearing of the two embezzlement cases of money laundering and drug trafficking against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.   (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

Tunisia took less than a day to convict its deposed former ruler, reports Reuters, sentencing Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his wife in absentia to 35 years in prison and ordering them to pay fines totaling $65.5 million. The convictions revolve around theft and unlawful possession of cash and jewelry charges; the AP notes that $27 million in jewels and public funds were found in one of Ben Ali's palaces. But that's not all for Ben Ali, who's currently in exile in Saudi Arabia: A judge said verdicts on weapons possession and drug running charges are expected June 30. Click for more background on Ben Ali's trial. (Read more Tunisia stories.)

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