Ousted Tunisian president Ben Ali dies in Saudi exile aged-83

Ousted Tunisian president Ben Ali dies in Saudi exile aged-83
Tunisia's exiled former autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali has died of ill-health at the age of 83, local media reported citing Saudi sources.
2 min read
19 September, 2019
Ben Ali, who was hospitalised in Jeddah Saudi Arabia [Getty]
Former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader to be toppled by the Arab Spring revolts, died Thursday in Saudi Arabia aged 83, Tunisia's foreign ministry said.
"We had confirmation of his death 30 minutes ago," the ministry said, without giving further details.

Ben Ali, who was hospitalised in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, is said to have been fighting lung cancer.

"The official information that we currently have confirms the death of the former Tunisian president Ben Ali in his place of residence in Saudi Arabia," Tunisian Mosaique reported on Thursday.

"This breaking news was confirmed to us directly by Saudi sources," the reporter added.

Ben Ali's lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha, confirmed his death on Thursday in Jeddah, adding that his body is to be transferred to Mecca, awaiting the family's decision on his burial.

Last week, Ben Salha said that Tunisia's leader who was ousted in a 2011 revolt when he fled to Saudi Arabia following two decades of iron-fisted rule, was "in critical condition".

"He's not dead but the condition of his health is bad. He has left hospital and is being treated at home. His condition is stable," the lawyer told Oxygene FM radio.

Ben Ali is survived by six children; three daughters by a first marriage and two daughters and a son by Trabelsi.

Tunisian courts have condemned Ben Ali in absentia to several prison sentences, including life terms, for abuse of power, graft and involuntary homicide.

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