‘Seychelles authorities did not arrest or detain Sakhr El Materi’


The ministry has sent the communiqué to clarify numerous press reports that businessman El Materi had been detained in Seychelles
The ministry confirmed that El Materi was briefly questioned at Seychelles international airport upon his arrival.

 He was granted entry but has already left Seychelles.
Mr El Materi was not arrested as was reported by some international media, said the communiqué, adding that the Seychelles government had taken note of a request tabled by the Tunisian government to deport Mr El Materi to face charges in Tunisia.

El Materi was convicted of corruption along with his father-in-law and Mr Ben Ali's daughter Nesrine, who is Materi's wife.

El Materi and Ben Ali were sentenced to 16 years in prison and Nesrine was given an eight-year jail term, all in absentia.

Ben Ali was toppled in an uprising that triggered the ‘Arab Spring’. He then fled with his family to Saudi Arabia.

In June 2011 he was first sentenced – along with his wife Leila – to 35 years in prison for embezzlement and misuse of state funds.

 Weeks later he was convicted of possessing illegal drugs and weapons and given 15 years in jail.

In June 2012 he was given a life sentence in absentia by a military court over the killing of protesters during the revolution.

Saudi Arabia has so far failed to extradite Ben Ali, despite a request by Tunisia's new government.