Tunisian dictator’s nephew makes contrite apology
TUNIS: Imed Trabelsi, a nephew of toppled
Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, apologised to the Tunisian people on national television on Friday for the endemic corruption during the regime.
In his testimony to the Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD), a tribunal established after the 2011 revolution, Trabelsi recounted how he got rich thanks to a well-oiled system involving the complicity of customs officers, high officials and ministers.
“We practically had a monopoly on the banana trade,” Trabelsi said, adding that there were also monopolies on real estate and alcohol sales. If another businessman tried to compete “we blocked his load”, he added.
Trabelsi, who is in prison since the revolution, “apologised from the bottom of (his) heart” and said he wanted his freedom. He is the nephew by blood of Ben Ali’s wife Leila, who fled with her husband to Saudi Arabia.
The couple have since been sentenced in absentia to prison and Trabelsi has also received multiple sentences.
He has said he is ready to return the sums he illegally gained. AFP
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Friday.