Tunisia ex-dictator’s son-in-law sentenced to prison
Tunisia ex-dictator’s son-in-law sentenced to prison

[JURIST] Slim Chiboub, son-in-law of former Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison for gun possession. Chiboub fled the country during the revolution, and has since been residing in exile in United Arab Emirates. He was convicted of two counts of gun possession in absentia by a Tunisian court in 2011, and received a one-year and a five-year sentence. Upon Chiboub’s return to Tunisia to face the outstanding charges, the judge threw out one of the verdicts, and reduced the other to a six-month sentence. Chiboub has yet to be tried for other pending allegations, including an allegedly illegal deal with French industrial company Alstom [official website].

Tunisia began cracking down on the family of Ben Ali after the ousted president fled the country in January 2011, amidst protests ending his 23-year autocratic rule in which his family amassed substantial wealth that many Tunisians say was at their expense. in November 2011 a Tunisian court convicted [JURIST report] a nephew of the Ben Ali’s wife, immediately pronouncing an 18-year prison sentence for writing over USD $399 million in bad checks. In June 2011 a Tunisian court sentenced [JURIST report] in absentia Sofiane Ben Ali, another nephew of Ben Ali, to 15 years in prison for issuing bad checks totaling more than USD $430,000. That same week, Ben Ali and his wife were convicted in absentia and sentenced to 35 years in prison on charges of theft and unlawful possession of money and jewelry just hours after the trial began that morning [JURIST reports]. The two were also charged with illegal possession of drugs and weapons, but the verdict for those charges would not be announced until June 30. Ben Ali said he was “duped” into leaving [AFP report] the capital Tunis, according to a statement released through his lawyer. He said that he was trying to get his family out of the country after assassination threats and that the plane left him in Saudi Arabia despite orders to wait for him. Ben Ali has denied the charges against him [JURIST report], most of which stem from allegations he authorized the use of force against protesters during the protests, resulting in more than 200 deaths.