Second life sentence for former Tunisian dictator Ben Ali

Tunisia's former dictator has received his second life sentence in absentia from a military court after being convicted of complicity in the killings of protesters during last year's uprising against him.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, was given one life sentence last month in connection with the deaths of protesters in southern Tunisia, where the movement against him began in December 2010. The latest case concerned protesters killed in the capital and the north. Some 43 officials were tried, receiving sentences ranging from five years to life. The former head of the presidential guard, Ali Seriati, was sentenced to 20 years, while the former Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem was given 15 years. Both are in custody.

Tunisia has asked Saudi Arabia to extradite Ben Ali to face these and a slew of other charges in person, but has never received an answer.

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