Belhassen Trabelsi, the  brother-in-law of former Tunisian dictator Zineel Abidine Ben Ali, has been denied political asylum in Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada rejected his request for refugee status on Monday because of criminal charges he faces in Tunisia.

“The tribunal finds that there are serious reasons for considering that the applicant, Belhassen Trabelsi, has committed serious political crimes, specifically defrauding the government, fraud and money laundering,” the ruling says.

The decision comes after 21 days of hearings, which began 20 months ago. It applies to Trabelsi only. His wife and children are eligible to apply for refugee status in Canada.