Judge Touhami Hafi, centre, chairs the Tunis Criminal Court, in Tunis, Monday, June 20, 2011, for the hearing of the two embezzlement cases of money laundering and drug trafficking, against Zine El ... more 
Judge Touhami Hafi, centre, chairs the Tunis Criminal Court, in Tunis, Monday, June 20, 2011, for the hearing of the two embezzlement cases of money laundering and drug trafficking, against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali , Tunisia's former autocratic ruler. Tunisia's former autocratic ruler, whose ouster triggered a series of Arab world uprisings, went on trial in absentia Monday in the first of what will likely be a long series of court proceedings five months after he went into exile. The Tunis Criminal Court is hearing two embezzlement, money laundering and drug trafficking cases against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. It follows the discovery of around $27 million in jewels and cash plus drugs and weapons at two palaces outside Tunis after he flew to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14. Ben Ali, 74, vigorously denied the charges in a statement through his French lawyer, calling the proceedings a "shameful masquerade of the justice of the victorious." (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi) less 
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Associated Press | Photo By Hassene Dridi
Mon, Jun 20, 2011 8:45 AM EDT