Tunisia's Ben Ali sentenced to 10 years in jail: Prosecution

TUNIS (AFP) - A Tunisian court has sentenced ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to 10 years in jail for abuse of power, the prosecution said on Friday, in the latest case against him.

The exiled former dictator was on Thursday found guilty in absentia of "using his position to obtain unjustified advantages, causing harm to the administration" in a case involving an advertising agency, spokesman Kamel Barbouche told AFP, without providing further details.

Ben Ali, who fled Tunisia to Saudi Arabia in January 2011 following a popular uprising against his 23-year rule, has been convicted in a number of cases in the past five years including for corruption.

He also received a life sentence in absentia in 2012 for ordering security forces to fire on protestors during the revolt.

Ben Ali's lawyer Mounir Bensalha was not immediately available for comment.

On Monday, government spokesman Khaled Chouket said in comments aired on radio that he wished Ben Ali would return from exile.

Authorities have faced a string of deadly jihadist attacks and failed to redress the economy since Ben Ali's ouster.

Nostalgia for the Ben Ali era has spread among a small section of society, but the former president remains largely discredited in public opinion.