A Tunisian military court has sentenced ousted president, Zine al-Abadine Ben Ali in absentia to life imprisonment for complicity in the deaths of protesters during the country’s uprising that swept him from power.
But there was anger in the courtroom when 21 co-defendants were cleared.
Ben Ali and his family fled the north African country on January 14 last year. They are now in Saudi Arabia but Tunisian authorities say they are seeking his extradition after a civil court also gave him a life sentence last month.
The Tunisian uprising was the first in the series of rebellions that became known as the Arab Spring. In all 338 people lost their lives before the regime fell.
Ben Ali’s former interior minister, security chief and other officials were given sentences ranging from five to 20 years on Thursday while 21 defendants were cleared.