Tunisia issues international arrest warrant for ousted president

January 26th, 2011 - 10:33 pm ICT by BNO News  

TUNIS, TUNISIA (BNO NEWS) — An international warrant for the arrest of Tunisia’s ousted President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was issued on Wednesday, the Justice Minister said, according to the official TAP news agency.

The move came as Tunisians await the announcement of a new government later on Wednesday. Government spokesman Taieb Baccouche said Tuesday that consultations continued to fill in the vacancies within the interim government and to bring the necessary changes.

The reshuffle of the cabinet follows ongoing protests against the reappointment of several ministers who had served under Ben Ali.

Baccouche added that one of the first decisions taken in the first cabinet meeting was to deliver on Wednesday a direct advance to the families of those killed in the unrest and to the injured .

On Monday, France opened an investigation over Ben Ali’s assets after three activist groups filed a civil lawsuit against him. The fortune of the former president is estimated at around 3.6 billion Euros ($4.91 billion).

The suit accuses the ex-Tunisian leader of plundering the African country’s resources during the 23 years he was at the helm.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 after citizens organized a series of demonstrations against economic issues which resulted in violent riots.

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