Sport Tunis risks losing millions of dollars from the Ben Ali clan frozen in Switzerland

18:55  16 january  2021
18:55  16 january  2021 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Five years after the Tunisian revolution, 43 million Swiss francs from the corrupt system of former dictator Ben Ali remain blocked in Switzerland . There have been numerous rogatory commissions and funds have been frozen in Switzerland . In principle, they will be returned to Tunisia on the basis

Switzerland and Tunisia discussed the return of funds linked to former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali In early 2011, the Swiss government froze CHF60 million ( million ) in assets held in Switzerland has established a cooperation strategy with Tunisia , focusing on democratic

Ben Ali, l’ancien président tunisien. © Photo: FETHI BELAID / AFP Ben Ali, the former Tunisian president.

Tunisia risks losing tens of millions of dollars embezzled by the clan of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and stranded in Switzerland, due to the expiry of the freezing of these assets at midnight on Tuesday, an official said. Tunisian.

"The Swiss Federal Council announced that the administrative freeze of part of the assets of the Ben Ali clan would end on January 19 at midnight, this was notified to us via diplomatic channels" , told AFP on Saturday. official of the Tunisian presidency who requested anonymity.

On January 19, 2011, five days after the flight of the president driven out by a popular uprising, the Swiss Federal Council ordered the preventive blocking of the assets in Switzerland of Ben Ali and his entourage, a freeze for which the legal time limit may extend to up to ten years.

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The former president died aged 83 in 2019 in exile in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Swiss NGO Public Eye, the Ben Ali clan would have sent 320 million dollars (265 million euros) through the financial center of Geneva during the 2000s.

Consequence of the thaw of these assets Tuesday at midnight: from 30 to 50 people from the Ben Ali clan, including his wife Leila Trabelsi and his brother Belhassen Trabelsi, "could recover the money", estimated the head of the Tunisian presidency.

"We are in daily contact with the Swiss authorities but, despite their understanding, it will be difficult to do something by Tuesday" , the source said.

To allow Tunisia to recover these funds, she added, the Swiss authorities are asking for final judgments. However, legal proceedings are still ongoing.

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According to the same source, political instability in Tunisia since the revolution and the succession of nine governments have complicated the handling of this case.

According to the Swiss daily Le Temps , the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) "has given the new Tunisian authorities the time necessary to establish judicial cooperation with Switzerland".

"During the past year, the Tunisian authorities have been made aware by the Swiss authorities on several occasions and at various levels of the imminent expiration of the administrative blockade" , the FDFA told Le Temps.

According to the Swiss daily, former Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi (late 2014 to 2019) has never hidden his reluctance to track down Ben Ali's money managers, preferring to go through amnesties.

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