The family of a corrupt Tunisian businessman who fled to Canada after the Arab Spring uprising wants Ottawa to unfreeze their bank accounts to alleviate their financial hardships, according to court documents. Belhassen Trabelsi disappeared from Canada last May.
“The most notorious” member of a “quasi mafia”
Belhassen Trabelsi, the brother-in-law of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s former president, has been described in United States diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks as “the most notorious” member of an infamously corrupt clan that functioned as a “quasi mafia” in the country. When Trabelsi fled to Montreal in 2011 with his wife Zohra and the couple’s four children, the Canadian government froze their bank accounts under the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, a law that allows Canada to help countries in turmoil by enabling it to block access to assets and seize property of wanted individuals. They are now asking a Federal Court judge to lift the sanctions on the businessman’s wife and children.
Read more at The Toronto Star.