The ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Monday said that he did not leave his post as the president of the republic and that he did not flee the country. The former president's lawyer Akram Aazhoy in a statement issued Monday stressed "that this does not mean that Ben Ali still considers himself as the president of Tunisia."
As his trial in absentia opened in Tunis, the former leader said has had agreed to fly to Saudi Arabia in order to relocate his family to a safe place and that he planned to return immediately. He said he was a victim of a deception plan to overthrow him.
He denied giving orders to Tunisia security forces to fire on protesters who were demanding his downfall.
Ben Ali was left Tunisia to Saudi Arabia on January 14 after a month of a popular uprising which was met by a violent repression.