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A Tunis court has sentenced ousted Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in his absence to 15 years in jail for possession of arms, drugs, and archaeological artefacts.

Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia following a popular uprising in January, was also sentenced to a fine of nearly $79,000.

The former president and his wife, Leila Trabelsi, had already been sentenced in their absence last month to 35 years in prison for misappropriating public funds.

compiled from agency reports