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Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Auction: Ex-Tunisian Dictator's Property Goes Under Hammer

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BEN ALI AUCTION
Luxury cars that once belonged to ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family are displayed at an auction in the Tunis suburb of Gammarth on December 22, 2012. Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali kicked off viewing of thousands of luxury items once owned by the ousted leader and his family on the eve of a public auction, in a bid to raise millions of euros for government coffers. (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

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.

Around the Web

Tunisia PM kicks off auction of Ben Ali treasures - FRANCE 24

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Ben Ali's Possessions to Be Auctioned in Tunisia - NYTimes.com

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