Tunisia's interim government has asked Saudi Arabia to extradite deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi's government made the official request to Riyadh, where Ben Ali fled on January 14 with his family after weeks of popular revolt against his 23-year regime.
The caretaker government also asked Saudi Arabia for information about Ben Ali's health following reports this week that he had fallen into a stress-induced coma and was being treated in a hospital in Jeddah.
Ben Ali's toppling in the face of public dissatisfaction in January was followed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation on February 11 and continued antigovernment demonstrations in a number of Middle East countries.
compiled from agency reports