Ben Ali aides' assets seized by France

May 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM
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PARIS, May 12 (UPI) -- France says it has seized bank accounts with a combined value of about $17 million from four aides of ousted Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

French courts had already seized an airplane belonging to the family of the former ruler during the course of an inquiry launched after the fall of Ben Ali's regime on Jan. 14, Radio France Internationale reported Thursday.

The court is hearing a case brought by anti-corruption organizations Sherpa and Transparency International France as well as the Arab human rights commission.

A source with knowledge of the case said about 30 assets, including property and others resources, had been identified, including about 10 in the suburbs of Paris, RFI reported.

A lawyer for Sherpa hailed the seizures, but called for further efforts.

"It's a step, but it's a drop in the ocean," Willim Bourdon said.

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