Ex-Tunisian dictator's property goes under hammer

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Associated Press

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 22 at 1:05 PM

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian authorities are putting property confiscated from ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali up for auction. That includes a pair of miniature gold sphinxes, a diamond-encrusted pen and a staggering 39 luxury cars.

Officials hope the sale, which was inaugurated by Tunisia's Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali in Tunis Saturday, will fetch some 20 million dinar ($12.9 million) for the state.

One of the rarities up for grabs is a super-pricy Mercedes that belonged to Ben Ali's nephew. Mohammed Lassaad Hamayed of Tunisia's confiscation committee calls the car "a handmade gem made of carbon fibers that costs more than €2 million ($2.6 million)."

He says "only Mohamed VI (the King of Morocco) has a similar one."

Ben Ali was ousted by a popular uprising in January 2011.

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