Ex-Tunisian dictator's property goes under hammer
Protestors burn a photo of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali during a demonstration in Tunis, Tunisia, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. (AP / Christophe Ena)
Published Saturday, December 22, 2012 2:22PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 22, 2012 11:46PM EST
TUNIS, Tunisia -- 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 (EURO)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.