Swiss examine calls to freeze alleged Ben Ali assets

Swiss media reported that an association of Tunisians living in Switzerland had lodged one of the complaints.

Swiss examine calls to freeze alleged Ben Ali assets

Switzerland has opened an inquiry into possible funds stashed by former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, his family and close associates in the Alpine country, the federal prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

The Berne-based office "received two criminal complaints on Jan. 17 related to the freezing of Tunisian assets which might have been deposited in Switzerland by the family or close associates of President Ben Ali," the federal prosecutor's spokeswoman Walburga Bur said in response to an inquiry.

"We are examining the complaints," she said by email.

No further details were immediately available.

Weeks of protests against poverty and unemployment in Tunisia forced Ben Ali from office after 23 years on Friday. Tunisian police used teargas on Tuesday to break up a protest against a new coalition government that includes allies of the ousted leader, who went to Saudi Arabia.

Swiss media reported that an association of Tunisians living in Switzerland had lodged one of the complaints. It sought the freezing of assets including a building on Geneva's exclusive rue du Rhone and a Falcon 9000 jet said to be at Geneva airport.

Ultimately Tunisia's new unity government would have to launch its own criminal investigation and request judicial assistance for Switzerland to cooperate, Swiss officials say.


Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2011, 15:33
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