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Canada Intends to Extradite Wealthy Tunisian Fugitive

Canadian officials say they intend to extradite a Tunisian billionaire fugitive who is the brother-in-law of Tunisia's ousted president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The interim Tunisian government issued an arrest warrant for Belhassen Trabelsi on Wednesday. The government has also issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Ben Ali, who fled the country, and other members of his family.

Trabelsi is accused of stealing money from the Tunisian government. He arrived in Montreal with his family on January 20.

Protesters in Tunisia who drove Mr. Ben Ali from power have vented their anger against Trabelsi and other members of the former president's extended family. Demonstrators torched and looted Trabelsi's elaborate villa in Tunisia, shortly after the president fled.

Tunisians called Mr. Ben Ali's relatives "The Family" or "The Mafia" for their roles in alleged corruption. They considered Trabelsi the head of the "Mafia."

Tunisia wants Canada to freeze Trabelsi's assets and revoke his visa while his extradition is being prepared.

Legal experts believe Trabelsi's extradition may take some time because he is expected to seek refugee status.

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