Tunisia’s ex-leader risks freeze of Swiss assets

The Swiss government faces calls to order the freeze of assets and property held in Switzerland by the deposed Tunisian president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

This content was published on January 16, 2011 - 17:32 and agencies

The association of exiled Tunisians in Switzerland accuses Ben Ali’s family of having abused its power and embezzled public and private funds, according to the Swiss News Agency.

Similarly the centre-left Social Democratic Party has urged the government to return Ben Ali’s funds to the new Tunisian authorities if such a request is filed.

The foreign ministry told the news agency that Switzerland reserved the right to take “appropriate measures, including the freezing of assets”.

Meanwhile, the ministry says several Swiss tourists have not been able to leave Tunisia as a result of delayed or cancelled flights.

It has dispatched an employee of the local Swiss embassy to Tunis airport to assist the tourists.

The three main Swiss tour operators, Kuoni, Hotelplan and Tui, were hoping to fly their customers home by Sunday evening.

Reports say the situation in Tunisia is still tense two days after the fall of Ben Ali’s regime.

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