Saudi Arabia will perhaps never surrender Ben Ali: Tunisia
Islam Times - Tunisia has admitted that Saudi Arabia, a haven for foreign autocrats, will perhaps never surrender ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to face trial at home.
Former President Ben Ali has lived in self-imposed exile with his wife Leila in Saudi Arabia since January 14, 2011, when he was ousted by massive street protests after 23 years in power and fled to the ultraconservative kingdom.
The successful Tunisian revolution and the mass anti-regime protests it inspired across the North Africa and the Middle East came to be known as the wave of Islamic Awakening, which led to the downfall of long-time dictators in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
"I think they will never extradite Ben Ali. We do know, we have tried with them many, many times," Moncef Marzouki, who was elected as Tunisian president in December, said on Wednesday.
"We will probably keep putting the pressure on them to have this man here in Tunisia, but as I told you, I don't believe that they will accept because they have their own tradition, they have their own laws,” Marzouki added.
Last year, a Tunisian court sentenced Ben Ali in absentia to 35 years in prison on charges of corruption. He is also facing charges of manslaughter and crimes against the state.
Ben Ali's regime collapsed after weeks of bloody protests over corruption, unemployment, and high food prices. He fled to Saudi Arabia with his family on the same day.
Story Code: 143901