January 3rd, 2012
04:12 AM ET

Tunisia ex-leader faces trial over killings

Tunisian ex-President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in the first uprising of last year's Arab Spring, faces a military tribunal Tuesday for his alleged role in the death of protesters in January 2011.

Ben Ali, who fled the country, is being tried in absentia along with dozens of former senior officials.

The trial will focus on who gave orders for snipers to shoot protesters, an emotionally charged question in the north African country.

The former president has already been tried and convicted in absentia for his role in a 1991 case in which 17 servicemen were accused of plotting a coup against his regime, the agency Tunis Afrique Presse said in November.

A Tunisian military court sentenced him to five years in prison, the state-run Tunisian News Agency said November 30.

The defense plans to appeal, it added.

Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, is on trial in his own country over the killing of protesters during the urprising that forced him from power weeks after Ben Ali fled Tunisia.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. banasy©

    I love it.

    The defense is planning to appeal his conviction in a trial where he was convicted in absentia?

    Doesn't make much of a difference if he's hiding, now does it?

    Hey, come out and testify if your own defense, Ben Ali.
    It'll be just as much fun as when you were giving orders to kill civilian protesters, I promise!

    January 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |