Tunisia: two individuals near former dictator Ben Ali jailed

Tunisia: two individuals near former dictator Ben Ali jailed

A number one Tunisian businessman and a former minister near former dictator Ben Ali have been jailed in two separate investigations into suspected monetary corruption, native media reported on Wednesday.

Marouane Mabrouk, 51, former son-in-law of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (who died in 2019) and head of one in every of Tunisia’s largest teams (Géant, Monoprix, Orange, Banque BIAT), has been given a five-day renewable detention order.

He’s suspected of corruption within the administration of an organization confiscated by the State, as a part of an investigation opened greater than 10 years in the past into public funds looted below Ben Ali, mentioned the spokesman for the Courtroom of First Occasion, Mohamed Zitouna, quoted by authorities media.

The investigators suspect a “crime of taking management of an organization to which the State contributes capital”, added Mr Zitouna, specifying that the corporate was the Saïda meals group (muffins, goodies).

Abderrahim Zouari, 79, former Minister of Transport and Tourism below Ben Ali, can also be topic to a five-day renewable detention order for having taken benefit of his place to acquire advantages.

His imprisonment follows “a grievance lodged by a non-governmental organisation on suspicion of corruption in a public contract”, mentioned Mr Zitouna.

Marouane Mabrouk is the previous husband of Cyrine Ben Ali, one of many daughters of the previous dictator (1987-2011) from a primary marriage.

Mr Mabrouk co-runs the Mabrouk household enterprise, which additionally controls the Orange Tunisia operator, launched a yr earlier than the democratic revolution that toppled Ben Ali in 2011 and marked the beginning of the Arab Spring.

Mr Mabrouk’s belongings had been formally seized after the revolution and transferred to the Karama Holding fund, which oversees all of the ill-gotten positive factors of the Ben Ali clan.

In March 2022, President Kais Saied, anxious to replenish the coffers of Tunisia, which was 80% in debt, arrange a “legal reconciliation” fee, offering for the dropping of authorized proceedings in change for the cost of penalties or the completion of main initiatives.

In March 2023, Mr Saied dismissed the top of this fee, making him pay for his failure to gather the hoped-for sums, estimated at 4 billion euros by an official report.

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