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Tunisian court clears ex-security chief over Ben Ali's escape

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Tunisian court clears ex-security chief over Ben Ali's escape


Tunisia’s ex-security chief has been cleared of forging passports for ousted President Ben Ali and his family. Ali al-Seriati still faces other more serious charges.

The same court sentenced 23 relatives of the exiled leader, some in absentia, to jail terms for trying to flee and illegally possessing foreign currency.

The court released from custody on Friday the former finance minister Mohammed Rechid Kchich, though corruption charges against him have not been dropped.

His release comes on the heels of the release of the reviled former justice minister, who also still faces charges.

Analysts and politicians say Ben Ali’s former allies are still in positions of power and are working behind the scenes to save their friends, protect their interests and roll back the gains Tunisians have made since Ben Ali fled the country

Ben Ali’s overthrow after weeks of protests electrified millions across the Arab world, who suffered similarly from high unemployment, repressive governments and rampant corruption, and led to the “Arab Spring” protests that spread across the region.

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