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Lawyer: Don’t sell ex-Tunisian chief’s palaces

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – The lawyer representing deposed Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has condemned as illegal efforts to sell the former president’s seized properties.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press on Friday, Beirut-based lawyer Akram Azoury said he would challenge in a Tunisian court the government’s decision to auction Ben Ali’s valuable possessions, and file a complaint with the U.N.’s human rights headquarters in Geneva.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14, 2011 after a monthlong uprising that sparked pro-democracy movements across the region.

Tunisia’s new president, Moncef Marzouki, pledged in December to sell off Ben Ali’s many palaces to help the country through its current economic crisis.

Azoury’s statement said that action would violate Tunisian and international law.

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