Ex-Tunisian Security Chief Faces 2nd Trial

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TUNIS, Tunisia, Aug. 12 (UPI) — A Tunisian court acquitted Ali Seriati, former head of the presidential guard, of helping the ousted president escape Friday.

Seriati’s acquittal on a charge of forging passports for President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his immediate family does not end his legal problems, the BBC reported. He is being held for trial on charges of conspiring against the state and provoking disorder and could receive a death sentence if found guilty.

Mourad Teyeb, a Tunisian journalist, told the BBC Seriati is perceived as “a symbol of Ben Ali’s terror.”

The court convicted relatives of the former president of trying to flee the country after Ben Ali was toppled by an uprising. They were also found guilty of illegally holding foreign currency.

Ben Ali is in exile in Saudi Arabia, which has refused to return him to Tunisia. He has been convicted in absentia of numerous charges.

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