Tunisian court acquits security chief in escape case

Reuters , Friday 12 Aug 2011

Former Tunisian security chief is acquitted over charges of helping ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and wife escape following the uprising last January

Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali's feared security chief was acquitted on Friday on charges of forging passports to help relatives of the former Tunisian leader and his wife escape with cash and jewelry.

A Tunisian court dropped the charges against Ali al-Seriati, who asked Tunisians for forgiveness earlier this week, but he remains in custody pending other charges against him.

In the same session, the court sentenced 23 relatives of Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi to jail terms ranging from four months to six years. Leila Trabelsi herself was sentenced in absentia to six years and Ben Ali's powerful son-in-law Sakjher Materi was sentenced in absentia to four years.

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