Tunisia’s prime minister urged Canada to deploy efforts to extradite relatives of the county’s former dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The Tunisian government has requested the extradition of a group of Ben Ali relatives including his wealthy brother-in-law, Belhassen Trabelsi, who they have accused of improperly amassing wealth through his connections to the former regime.
“We are continuing our discussions on that, because effectively, members of the family have profited in an unequal fashion from a lot of situations. And normally a people has a right to judge those who have harmed them,” Tunisia’s prime minister, Beji Caid el Sebsi, said at a press conference at the G8 summit in Deauville, France.
“We must all deploy efforts. It will be over when the money has returned to us, and when these people are facing justice.”
Stephen Harper’s government has repeatedly declared that Mr. Trabelsi is not welcome in Canada, and passed a special law in March to increase the government’s power to seize the ill-gotten assets of relatives of former dictators – a bill clearly aimed at Mr. Trabelsi.
But Mr. Trabelsi, who obtained permanent resident status in Canada in the 1990s, has fought efforts to deport him, and Canadian officials have said that taking action against members of the Ben Ali clan will require more specific information on allegations from the Tunisian government.