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Tunisia will not ask for Ben Ali extradition

20 Feb 2012 - 11:01

Islam Times - Tunisia’s new government says it has no plans of demanding the extradition of the country’s ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Al Jebali says that keeping good diplomatic ties with Riyadh is more important than the extradition of Ben Ali who fled to Saudi Arabia last year.

Jebali’s statement was made in response to a journalist, during the premier's two-day visit in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, a Tunisian court has sentenced the former leader in absentia to 35 years in prison on charges of corruption. Ben Ali is also facing charges of manslaughter and crimes against the state.

Ben Ali and his wife fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011, following a month-long revolution.

Ben Ali's 23-year-old regime collapsed early 2011 after weeks of bloody protests over corruption, unemployment, and high food prices. He fled to Saudi Arabia with his family on the same day.

The popular revolution sparked a wave of anti-regime protests in North Africa and Middle East, promptly known as the Islamic Awakening, and led to the downfall of long-time dictators in Egypt and Libya.