Tunisian court acquits former security chief

14 August 2011

Former head of presidential guard was charged with forging passports

A Tunisian court has acquitted former security chief Ali Seriati of forging passports for ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his family.

Seriati was accused of helping Ben Ali escape Tunisia for Saudi Arabia following the uprisings in Tunisia in January.

Seriati, head of Ben Ali’s presidential guard, remains in custody as he faces other charges related to the uprising. The other charges include plotting against the state and provoking disorder, crimes that carry the death sentence.

The court also convicted 23 relatives of Ben Ali of illegally possessing foreign currency and attempting to flee Tunisia.

Ben Ali has been found guilty on three different charges so far. He has been sentenced to 35 years in prison along with his wife for embezzlement and the misuse of public funds (MEED 21:6:11).

Ben Ali was also sentenced to 16 years in prison for corrupt property deals and another 15 years for possessing illegal drugs and weapons found at his palace in Carthage.

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