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EU to freeze Ben Ali family assets, diplomats say

Posted by on January 31, 2011 0 Comment

Brussels, Jan 31 (IANS) The European Union has decided to freeze the assets of ousted Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, diplomats at a meeting of EU foreign ministers said Monday.

Ben Ali was driven out by a popular revolt Jan 14. Since then, allegations have emerged that he and his family siphoned off millions from the state’s coffers, with his wife reportedly fleeing the country with over a tonne of gold from the central bank.

EU foreign ministers agreed to freeze the assets of the former president, his wife and his close relations, diplomats at the meeting said. The decision is to come into force once it is published in the bloc’s official journal.

The EU has already sent a diplomatic mission to Tunisia to help with the transition to democracy, and is expected to offer more aid in the coming days.

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