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Dictator felt wrath of wife's fury as pair fled to Saudi for their lives

Tunisia's deposed dictator spent his final moments in his country enduring a tirade of insults from his fearsome wife.

As Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali refused to board the plane to spirit him to Saudi Arabia, his wife Leila's words were reported as: "Get on imbecile. All my life I've had to put up with your screw-ups."

An air force official recounted the 74-year-old ex-president's feeble attempt to disobey Lady Macbeth of Carthage, as his wife has been dubbed. As the so-called jasmine revolution rumbled in the capital, Mr Ben Ali, who was ousted after 23 years on Jan 14, stood on the tarmac in Tunis airport with a small briefcase, wringing his hands and saying: "Leave me, I don't want to go, I want to die here for my country." At his wife's side was Ali Seriati, Mr Ben Ali's hated political police chief, who pushed him on to the steps, shouting: "For F**'s sake, get on!"

Irish Independent