Ben Ali, cohort, sentenced, fined

July 29, 2011 at 8:45 AM

TUNIS, Tunisia, July 29 (UPI) -- Ousted Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has been sentenced to 16 years in prison on corruption charges, officials in Tunisia said.

The Tunisian court also sentenced his son-in-law, Sakher al-Materi, to 16 years in prison and fined the pair 97 million dinars (about $71 million) Bikya Masr reported Friday.

The two were tried in abstentia, having fled to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of demonstrations calling for their ouster.

The court also sentenced Ben Ali's daughter, Nisreen, who is married to Materi, to eight years in jail and ordered her to pay a fine of about $35 million.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia after mass demonstrations calling for his ouster, where he and his close family remain in exile, after 23 years in power.

Thursday's trial was the third for Ben Ali, who has refused to attend any of them.

Ben Ali, and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, were each sentenced to 35 years in jail last month after being convicted of theft and illegal possession of large sums of money and jewelry.

A second trial found Ben Ali guilty of possessing weapons and drugs.

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