Today, Wednesday, the French judiciary rejected a request to deport Belhassen Trabelsi, the son-in-law of the late Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to Tunisia, on suspicion of interfering in the award of a public deal in 2006.
The Parisian court, which was charged with examining the application, considered that the charges were contained in French law.
"This decision proves that France is a state of law. We raised several issues, such as the risk of ill-treatment of my clients in Tunisia, and that, according to the French-Tunisian judicial agreement, a deportation cannot be made when the charges contained in the application are present in French law ," said lawyer Belhasan Trabelsi, Marcel Cicalde. ".
Businessman Belhasan Traboulsi, 57, was arrested in France in March 2019.
After escaping from Tunisia during the 2011 revolution that led to the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Trabelsi settled in Canada before leaving in 2016 after Ottawa refused to grant him political asylum.
Another request for deportation is being considered by the Aix-en-Provence court in southeastern France, to serve in Tunisia three prison sentences issued against him in absentia, totaling 33 years.
According to the Tunisian judicial authorities, these convictions came against the backdrop of financial crimes, thanks to which Belhassen Trabelsi made 20 million euros. The cases concern the sale of shares in Tunisian Airlines and the manipulation of the value of bills of the Tunisian Sugar Company.
The Prosecutor issued a positive opinion on this extradition request at the end of June, and the judges are scheduled to announce their decision on it on September 16.