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Ben Ali ready to return Swiss-held ‘assets’

July 17, 2012

BEIRUT, July 16: Tunisia’s former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, toppled by a popular revolt in 2011, is ready to hand over his Swiss-held financial `assets’ to the Tunisian state, his Lebanese lawyer said on Monday.

“My client is ready to hand over all his alleged assets and economic resources held in Switzerland to the Tunisian state,” lawyer Akram Azoury said in a draft statement to the Swiss ambassador in Lebanon.

In the letter, which he plans to send to the Swiss foreign ministry, Mr Azoury added: “You are authorised to transfer his alleged assets and economic resources to the Tunisian state, without any prior judicial or extra-judicial procedure, and without even referring to my client.”

Mr Azoury said the letter was a follow up to his statement on May 30 saying his client had no funds in Swiss accounts.—Agencies