Ousted Tunisian leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced to 35 years in prison and must pay -- together with his wife Leila Trabelsi -- a fine amounting to nearly $66 million.

The Tunisian government-in-transition started and closed the trial that resulted in the conviction of the 23-year Tunisian ruler today. But Ben Ali was not present.

In exile in Saudi Arabia since January, there have been no moves by Saudi King Abdullah to extradite him back to his native soil.

In February, the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Commission found 27 million dollars in cash at his palace in Sidi Bou Said, a northern suburb of Tunis.

More interesting, perhaps, is that the commission is trying  Ben Ali for drug possession.

At Ben Ali's presidential palace in Carthage, a Tunisian town known for Roman its ruins, authorities report that they found a stash of unspecified narcotics, rumored to be hashish. 2 kilograms.

Now the Tunisian government looks to move forward and rebuild its economy as a foundation for stable democratization.

Here is a feature by IBTimes world reporter Michael Martin on the Tunisian Tourism Board's gestures to bring back European tourism, the bread and butter of the Tunisian economy.