Tunisia says will track down Ben Ali family abroad

Reuters, Saturday 22 Jan 2011

After the arrest of some of Ben Ali's close associates, Tunisian authorities vow to track the rest of his family, even outside Tunisia's borders

Tunisian protesters stand in front of the prime minister's building during a demonstration in Tunis 21 January 2011. (Reuters)

Tunisia has arrested Imed Trabelsi, nephew of ousted President Zein Al-Abidine Ben Ali's wife, and will track down other wanted family members abroad, Interior Minister Ahmed Friia said Friday.

"Regarding our ability to track down those relatives of the ex-president and his wife who ran away, fleeing from Tunisia will not help them," Friia said at a news conference shown on state television.

"Tunisia has treaties with countries all over the world," he said.

An interim government was formed after Ben Ali fled the North African country last week following a popular uprising over poverty, corruption and political repression.

The government said this week 33 members of Ben Ali's family had been arrested but until Friday had not named them.

Trabelsi, a businessman, is suspected of stealing the yacht of a French businessman. His and other villas owned by family members were looted and vandalised after Ben Ali's ouster.

Ben Ali's wife Leila Trabelsi was particularly hated for her extensive influence and lavish lifestyle

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