The EU has decided to extend sanctions imposed on ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his wife and other 46 Tunisians in his regime for an additional year, a statement released yesterday revealed.
According to the statement, Ben Ali is accused of illegally using state funds when he was in charge of the country before the revolution of 2011.
“The [European] Council considered that the misappropriation of state funds was depriving the Tunisian people of the benefits of the sustainable development of their economy and society, and undermining the development of democracy in the country,” the statement reads.
Russian news agency Sputnik reported that the sanctions, which were initially introduced on 31 January 2011 following Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, have been extended until 31 January 2018.
Sputnik stated that the country’s National Commission to Investigate Corruption and Embezzlement found in a report issued in 2012 that Ben Ali’s family and friends diverted public funds and lands in a enormous campaign of corruption that netted the ruling family a massive fortune.
The report also found that they used state institutions such as banks, the judiciary and the police for their own benefit and as a way of punishing those opposed to their business or political interests.