Thug. Vulgar. Chief Operating Officer of corruption ...
Few good words come to mind French journalist Nicolas Beau when he speaks of Belhassen Trabelsi, brother of the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Montreal.
The regent in Carthage, * an investigative book he wrote with journalist Catherine Graciet, journalist and author paints a bleak picture of the clan of the second wife of Ben Ali, Leila Trabelsi. He explained how the first lady, helped by her favorite brother, Belhassen Trabelsi (he nicknamed "the Viceroy of Tunisia"), managed to get its hands on the Tunisian economy in 15 years. It is estimated that when the regime fell, the Ben Ali Trabelsi had about half the country's assets.
"Belhassen Trabelsi is the armed wing of the clan Trabelsi. His role was significant in the operations of bribery, threats and bringing to heel of the Tunisian economy to the clan, "says Nicolas Beau, covering the Maghreb to various French publications, including Libération and Le Canard in chains, since taking Ben Ali to power in November 1987.
Leila and not destined to become Belhassen Trabelsi, with their nine brothers and sisters, the incarnation of corruption in Tunisia Ben Ali. Children of a seller of dried fruit, they were born in a disadvantaged environment rather to Khazenadar, near Tunis. Leila was a hairdresser, and his brother Belhassen, strong engineering education, operated a small business selling clinker, a component of cement. That all changed after the marriage of Leila with President Ben Ali in 1992.
In his book, Mr. Beau describes in detail how, from 1996, Belhassen Trabelsi, now aged 46, used the growing ascendancy of his sister on her husband to advance his business.
In the 90s, his preferred method, as the journalist was to buy land or agricultural property at low prices, to make the zoning change by the government through the influence of his sister and to build houses there Luxury, then resell it all for gold. This is particularly the fate would have known the park adjoining the presidential palace in Skanes in the coastal town of Monastir, and farmland overlooking the port of El Kantaoui, near Sousse.
Employees of Tunisair, the national airline, have denounced other malfeasance after Trabelsi had acquired the company Karthago in 2001. According to many reports, Tunisair was obliged to provide free services to a host society Trabelsi meals, aircraft maintenance, engineering, etc.. In his book, Mr. Beau note that while Tunisair sinking into debt, profits Trabelsi, they have skyrocketed.
Several people have tried over the years to protest against the actions of Belhassen Trabelsi, but they soon made the object of reprisals, says Nicolas Beau. "Belhassen and the rest of the clan used the security apparatus of Ben Ali to put competitors. Assassination attempts are rare in Tunisia, for cons, some industrialists who embarrassed the clan ended up in jail or have been threatened and prosecuted in court, "said Beau, who was persona non grata in Tunisia until recently.
At home, the memory of abuse of power "Mr. Brother" is still fresh. Tunisian justice has opened an investigation against him on the illegal acquisition of property and arms trafficking.