Swiss freeze assets of toppled Tunisian president

Assets in Switzerland of the deposed Tunisian president, Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, have been blocked following a decision by the Swiss cabinet last week.

This content was published on January 26, 2011 minutes

A government spokesman said funds worth tens of millions of Swiss francs had been frozen but he refused to give details, saying the situation was constantly changing.

The new Tunisian authorities filed an official request for legal assistance on Tuesday with Switzerland he said.

The cases being investigated include a plane which seems to belong to a son-in-law of the deposed president. It is currently held at Geneva airport, while the Genevan legal authorities determine whether it should be seized.

Investigations are also underway to determine what real estate in Switzerland, if any, is held by any of the 40 or so people on the list of those whose assets are being blocked.

The spokesman added that two inaccuracies in the list had been notified to the foreign ministry, while some others had appealed against their inclusion. Those cases are being examined.

Tunisia’s justice authorities on Wednesday issued an international arrest warrant for Ben Ali and his family. They fled to Saudi Arabia earlier this month in the wake of weeks of public protests.

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