TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — One of the main figures of Tunisia's overthrown authoritarian regime has been released after serving three years in prison.

Ali Seriati, the head of the presidential security, was freed a week after release of former Interior Minister Rafik Haj Kacem.

Seriati was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison for complicity in the deaths of protesters during the pro-democracy uprising. An appeals court later reduced his sentence to three years.

During his trial Seriati maintained that he was the one who convinced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country for Saudi Arabia Jan. 14 to avoid a bloodbath.

Families of victims of the former regime have protested against the reduced sentence.