Tunisia seeks arrest of ex-president

Jan. 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM
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TUNIS, Tunisia, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Tunisia's interim government announced Wednesday an arrest warrant has been filed for the former president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi told reporters at a news conference that international warrants have also been sent to Interpol for some of his family, The New York Times reported. They are charged with embezzling public funds.

Ben Ali left Tunisia Jan. 14, forced out by increasingly large demonstrations. He is now in Saudi Arabia after being turned away by France.

As reporters jostled and yelled questions at Chebbi, the sound of more protesters outside came in through the windows, the Times said. While a small group demonstrated in favor of the interim government Wednesday, hundreds more called on its members to resign immediately.

The government has promised free elections in six months. In the meantime, the Times said, it appears to be trying to contain the protest movement.

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