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Regular meeting with Ministries' representatives focuses on trials of ousted president and his wife

Published the:  14/06/2011

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June 14, 2011 - TAP - The Prime Ministry's communication cell held, on Tuesday in Tunis, a regular meeting with some Ministries' representatives.
Justice Ministry's representative Kadhem Zine El Abidine said during this eighth regular meeting that the trials of the ousted president and his wife will begin next June 20 in the Criminal Chamber of the Court of First Instance of Tunis. It will start by examining cases of the Sidi Dhrif and Carthage palaces.
The first case related to Sidi Dhrif palace "in which large sums of foreign currency and Tunisian dinars and a significant quantity of jewels were discovered and seized" is brought against former president Zine El Abidine Belhaj Hamda Hassen Ben Ali and his wife Leila Bent Mohamed Ben Rhouma Trabelsi.
Regarding the second case, it is brought against the ousted president only and consists in the case of Carthage palace. Counts of indictment comprise, in particular, possession of drugs for use, consumption, acquisition, importation and narcotics trafficking, fitting out and use of a place for stocking and using drugs, possession of weapons and ammunition and not reporting possession of archaeological objects.
The number of counts of indictment against the ousted president and his family are 93, most of them are brought in courts of the capital while several other cases were registered in the courts of Sousse, Monastir, Manouba, Gabès, Ariana, Sidi Bouzid and Gafsa.
In addition, 35 cases out of all the cases against the ousted president and his family were referred to military courts. "These cases are ready to be ruled on" and involve charges of homicide with premeditation, in addition to several cases related to torture."
Other cases include financial embezzlement, money laundering and trafficking of archaeological objects, in addition to Hajj (pilgrimage) visas, real estate corruption and a lawsuit brought by the Tunisian Television against "Cactus" company in connection with the ousted president, in addition to a case concerning the "Bien vu" company and the use of public properties on authorisation of the ousted president.
Another lawsuit also regards circumstances for granting a public contract to French company to install natural gas tanks.
Regarding the security and health situation on the Tunisian-Libyan borders and in refugee camps, Colonel Major Mokhtar Ben Nasr said the general situation in the south is stable, despite some incidents that took place at the Wazen-Dhehiba border crossing.
He said mortars that fell in the Tunisian territory were unintentional.
He also pointed to the continuous flow of foreign refugees to the national territory as a result of the ongoing fights in Libya, saying that 7,830 refugees entered Tunisia from Monday morning to Tuesday morning including 6,330 Libyan citizens who were also placed in Tunisian, Qatari and Emirati camps.
Some 1,113 refugees whose period of stay on the Tunisian-Libyan border lasted too long were repatriated.
They are 680 Chadians, while the rest of refugees are of Egyptian and Nigerian nationalities.
Colonel Major Ben Nasr said National Army forces guard the different border areas, adding that permanent mobile patrols are deployed jointly with the security forces to conduct border control operations to counter any attempt of infiltration in the national territory or traffic.
The representative of the National Defence Ministry announced the visit next Thursday in Tunisia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who will meet with the National Defence Minister to address issues related to refugees.
He also said that wounded people from both sides in conflict in Libya are hospitalised in the south of Tunisia and in Sfax. Their number does not exceed 30 individuals, adding that several Libyan officers took refuge in Tunisia and are now in secure residences.