First Published: 2013-02-06

 

Son-in-law of Tunisia ex-president picks Seychelles as asylum destination

 

Seychelles says son-in-law of Tunisia's deposed president Ben Ali has requested asylum in Indian Ocean archipelago.

 

Middle East Online

Convicted in absentia of corruption in Tunisia

VICTORIA (Seychelles) - The Seychelles said on Wednesday the son-in-law of Tunisia's deposed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has requested asylum in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

"The Seychelles government wishes to confirm receipt of a request for asylum that was submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs by a Tunisian national, Mr Sakhr El Materi, who is currently in country," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Materi, who was convicted in absentia of corruption by a Tunisian court, fled to Qatar just before the overthrow of his father-in-law's regime in 2011, but the Gulf emirate agreed to expel him in September.

Materi was briefly in the Seychelles in December, leaving after he was questioned by police for trying to enter on an expired diplomatic passport, but returned last month.

Seychelles said it would consider the request "on completion of an assessment to determine whether the grounds for the application are applicable under Seychelles' laws," the statement added.

Tunisian officials have said they would do everything to get Materi extradited.

Ben Ali and his close family used to go on holiday to the Seychelles in secret prior to the revolution.

Said to be the ex-president's favourite son-in-law and long seen as a possible successor, Materi was sentenced in absentia to 16 years in prison and fined 97 million dinars ($61 million) for corruption and property fraud.

Married to Ben Ali's eldest daughter Nesrine, the businessman owned Princess Holding and was active in virtually every economic sector.

His properties have either been confiscated or placed under state administration.

The north African country has repeatedly asked Saudi Arabia, where Ben Ali took refuge with his wife Leila Trabelsi after they fled Tunisia on in January 2011, to extradite him.

Ben Ali has been sentenced in absentia to life in prison for presiding over the bloody protest crackdown that ignited the Arab Spring, and convicted on other charges that include incitement to murder, embezzlement and abuse of power.

 

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe