Tunis - Tunisia's deposed president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali
was given a five-year jail term in absentia and fined €3.5m for corruption, adding to
two life sentences he has already received, judicial sources said on Tuesday.
The former strongman was convicted of having exploited his
position "to provide for himself or a third party unfair advantages,
causing harm to the administration", according to a Tunis court ruling.
Ben Ali currently lives in gilded exile in Jeddah, having
fled to Saudi Arabia with his wife during the mass uprising against his regime
in January 2011.
For his part in the same case, Khaled Kobbi, a businessman
detained in July 2011, was sentenced to two years in jail and also fined seven
million dinars (€3.5m).
The case relates to the acquisition of more than 20 hectares
of land to build an industrial zone with public funds, before it was sold on in
Ben Ali has already been sentenced twice to life in prison
for presiding over the bloody crackdown on the uprising that eventually
unseated him and ignited the Arab Spring.
He has also separately been sentenced to decades in prison
along with his wife Leila Trabelsi for embezzlement, illegal possession of
narcotics, housing fraud and abuse of power.
Ben Ali's clan, and his wife's family in particular, had a
stranglehold on business in Tunisia, and are accused of having run a
The couple regularly claim they are the victims of
post-revolution score settling.