Tunisia’s ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali has been hospitalized for a ‘‘serious health crisis’‘ in Saudi Arabia, his lawyer told Reuters Friday.
Mass protests drove Ben Ali out of power in 2011, leading to the Arab Spring uprising.
This is the first time his lawyer Mounir Ben Salha or family have gone public with news of the 83 year old’s health.
Ben Ali has made no public statements since leaving for Saudi Arabia where he’s living in exile.
In 2011, a Tunisian court sentenced Ben Ali in absentia for 35 years in prison on charges of corruption ranging from torture.
The following year, a military court sentenced him to another 20 years for inciting ‘murder and looting’‘.
Tunisia will hold a free presidential election on Sunday, September 15 as it continues a path to democracy.