Ben Ali guilty of incitement, Mubarak fears prison doctors
A Tunisian military court has sentenced ousted dictator Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali to 20 years in jail in absentia for inciting violence during a police attempt to smuggle his nephew out of the country.
Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia as protests engulfed Tunisia in January 2011, has already been sentenced to decades in jail - also in absentia - on charges ranging from corruption to torture and he faces more charges.
Last month, a Tunisian military prosecutor demanded that the death penalty be imposed on the former strongman for his role in the deaths of protesters last year.
There is, however, little indication that Riyadh would be willing to extradite Ben Ali.
No senior officials have so far been convicted for the deaths of more than 300 people in last year’s uprising, angering the families of the dead and raising pressure on the Tunisian government to ensure that justice is done.
Tunisia’s government has faced persistent criticism over its failure to persuade Saudi Arabia to hand over Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi, a former hairdresser whose lavish lifestyle and clique of wealthy relatives came to be seen by many Tunisians as a symbol of the corrupt era.
Meanwhile in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak’s lawyer said the former president does not trust prison doctors.
The ailing 84-year old was convicted on June 2 of failing to prevent the killings of protesters in the uprising that ousted him last year. Lawyer Farid El Deeb said: “Mubarak was surprised to find new doctors treating him... and is afraid to take anything from anyone.”