EU sanctions watch

‹ All affected people in Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Aliزين العابدين بن علي‎

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Ex-president of Tunisia was born in Hamman-Sousse 3 September 1936. He was a president for 23 years before stepping down in January 2011 due to a wave of demonstrations, that have seen several protesters killed. Over his long rule, Ben Ali's extended family were said to take control over many areas of Tunisia's business. After the regime fell, Tunisian authorities seized 220 companies owned by the family members which controlled 21% of private sector profits. Ben Ali and his wife Leïla Trabelsi were found guilty in absentia by a Tunisian court for embezzlement and misuse of public funds, and sentenced to 35 years in prison. However, they both currently remain in Saudi Arabia, together with their children Halima and Mohamed. 1, 2, 3


Identifying information
Former president
Date of birth
Place of birth
Tunisia, Hammam Sousse
Country of residence
Saudi Arabia
Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali
First and middle name(s)
Zine El Abidine Ben Haj Hamda Ben Haj Hassen
Family members
Leila Trabelsi (spouse), Nesrine Ben Ali (daughter), Halima Ben Ali (daughter), Cyrine Ben Ali (daughter), Dorsaf Ben Ali (daughter), Ghazoua Ben Ali (daughter)
Family members subject to sanctions
Suspected or confirmed overseas properties

Property in Frankfurt, Germany, belonging to one of his daughters 1

Suspected or confirmed links to bank accounts

German accounts 1

Estimates of assets frozen or confiscated

Unknown amounts in Germany 1, $80 million frozen or seized in Switzerland, France, Belgium and Italy. 2. $61.75 million in Switzerland alone 3

Estimates of assets returned

Two planes (France, Switzerland) and two yachts (Italy and Spain) 1. Assets from Swizerland in two rounds - first around €225,000, followed by €3.5 million in 2017. 2

Type of sanctions
Asset freeze and prohibition to make funds available
Start of sanctions