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Tunisia: Mubarak trial is a warning to other arab leaders

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Tunisia: Mubarak trial is a warning to other arab leaders


Mubarak’s trial is being watched closely in Tunisia, the first country to oust its leader in the Arab spring.

Former President Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia, but was later sentenced in his absence to 35 years’ jail for embezzlement and misuse of funds, and then in a separate trial, to 15 years for drugs and weapons offences.

euronews interviewed Tahar Balkhodja, a former Tunisian government minister from the 1970s and 80s. Now 80-years-old, he backed the uprising.

“From the beginning it was a revolution in the spirit and souls of all those young people,” he said. “Now it’s being displayed in the courts in the trials of Mubarak and his gang. And all Arab presidents should understand that the situation obliges them either to reform or to leave, and most importantly all these leaders should now know that they can’t continue in the same old way by asking the people to obey.”

“The trial of Mubarak in Cairo today is not a ‘show trial’, and it is going to serve justice, and it is responding to the demands of the people. Now we must realised that with these revolutions someone has to pay in the end.”

“It’s true that the court in Tunis did not carry out the trial of Ben Ali properly. In Tunis they charged him with silly accusations like drugs, and they forgot the main issues, because they said that the prosecution file was not yet ready. It’s true that all this happened in Tunis but I think that the Egyptians took note of our experience and now they are working on a proper trial.”

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