Brussels, Feb 5 (DPA) The European Union announced Saturday that it was freezing the assets of 48 members of Tunisia’s former ruling clan, including ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his wife Leila Trabelsi.
Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia Jan 14 following a month-long popular revolt. His family and relatives have been accused of siphoning off millions from Tunisia during his 23 years in power.
The EU said it moved against those responsible for the misappropriation of Tunisian state funds, in the process depriving Tunisians “of the benefits of the sustainable development of their economy and society and undermining the development of democracy in the country”.
EU foreign ministers had Monday agreed on the sanctions. The list of people targeted was drawn up in cooperation with the new Tunisian government and was similar to the one adopted by Switzerland, EU diplomats said.
However, the EU’s list did not include businessman Azid Miled, on whose private jet French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and her family flew in December, when the anti-Ben Ali protests had already started.
Swiss authorities consider Miled to be an associate of Ben Ali’s brother-in-law, an allegation that Alliot-Marie has denied.