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Tunisia: Former President Convicted of Attempted Murder

(June 14, 2012) In June 2012, the Military Court of Tunisia found former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali guilty in absentia of inciting violence and attempted murder. The court sentenced Ben Ali to 20 years of imprisonment. It convicted him for ordering police forces to open fire on protesters during the Tunisian revolution, in the spring of 2011. The court rendered its decision based on an incident in the town of Ouardanine, in northern Tunisia, during which members of the police force opened fire on a peaceful protest, killing four civilians. (Ben Ali Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Committing the Crimes of Attempted Murder and Inciting Violence [in Arabic], THE DOSTOR NEWSPAPER (June 12, 2012).)

In 2011, Ben Ali was convicted by a civilian court of drug trafficking, illegal arms trading, and abuse of public funds and was sentenced to 66 years in prison. The Military Court's 20-year prison sentence is to be served concurrently with the 66-year term. Ben Ali fled Tunisia in early 2011 and currently resides in Saudi Arabia. (Id.)