UAE. The United Arab Emirates central bank has ordered banks to freeze all assets of ousted Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, his wife, and 120 other Tunisians, a newspaper said on Wednesday.
Alrroya al-Iqtissadia daily cited a central bank circular as telling banks to "search for and freeze accounts, deposits and investments" of the former autocrat who is sheltered in Saudi Arabia, and those of his wife Leila Trabelsi and the others.
The bank said it was acting following a request, transmitted through the foreign ministry from the Tunisian public prosecutor, to freeze those assets worldwide, the paper added.
Ben Ali fled Tunisia in January following a revolt against his 23-year rule. Family members say he suffered a stroke in February and he has made no public appearances.
He broke his silence on Monday through his French lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne describing as a "masquerade" his imminent trial in Tunisia on corruption charges.
Tunisia's interim administration has asked for the former president's extradition from Saudi Arabia along with his wife. Several European countries have frozen assets belonging to Ben Ali and his entourage.