European Council freezes assets of former Tunisian President Ben Ali

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BRUSSELS: The European Council on Monday informed that it adopted a regulation for freezing of assets owned or controlled by former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The Council added that the regulation targeted a list of 48 people, including Ben Ali and his wife, who are deemed to be responsible for the misappropriation of state funds in Tunisia.

The decision and regulation were published on the European Union Official Journal on February 5. The approved regulation amended and updated the first one adopted on January 31.

The Council said that this action was a sign of the EU's solidarity and support for Tunisians in their efforts to put in place a stable democracy, the rule of law and democratic pluralism with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The European Council also recognized and praised the creation of a high commission for political reform and national commissions to investigate the violence that took place during recent demonstrations and to investigate corruption.

In mid-January, Switzerland froze the bank accounts and other related assets of Ben Ali for a three-year period to allow time for Tunisian authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against the former leader.

Ben Ali fled from Tunisia and quit as President after the population organized a series of demonstrations against over economic issues which resulted in violent riots against police forces.

The demonstrations increased after reports surfaced indicating that the family of the Tunisian leader fled Tunisia with 1.5 tons of gold. An investigation was launched on this issue.

(BNO NEWS )

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