Tu­nisian dic­ta­tor’s nephew makes con­trite apol­ogy

New Straits Times - - World -

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.

Imed Tra­belsi

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