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Tunisian Ex-President Sentenced To 35 Years In Jail

Former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his wife Leila
A Tunisian court has sentenced ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his wife to 35 years in prison each for theft and other charges.

The couple, who left Tunisia for Saudi Arabia amid a popular uprising in January, were being tried in absentia.

In announcing its verdict on June 20, the Tunis criminal court also ordered them to pay a $66 million fine.

The day-long trial was looking at accusations of theft, corruption, and drug smuggling, which the former president has denied.

The presiding judge said a verdict on other charges relating to illegal possession of drugs and weapons would be announced on June 30.

compiled from agency reports