Tunisia issues int'l arrest warrant for ousted president

January 26, 2011 16:15

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia has issued an international arrest warrant for ousted autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia earlier this month amid violent protests.

Charges against Ben Ali include taking money out of the country illegally, Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said Wednesday. The country is also seeking the arrest of Ben Ali's wife, Leila, as well as other family members.

Ben Ali fled the North African country Jan. 14 after 23 years in power, pushed out by weeks of deadly protests driven by anger over joblessness, corruption and repression.

On Wednesday, the justice minister released figures that underlined the massive scope of the unrest: More than 11,000 prisoners — about a third of the country's prison population — were able to escape amid the chaos, he said.

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