Spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Noémie Charton told Ahram Online on Wednesday that Hosni Mubarak "did not hold assets in Switzerland," confirming a statement made three days earlier by the former Egyptian president's lawyer.
Mubarak’s lead defence lawyer Fareed El-Deeb reiterated on Sunday that his client has never possessed assets in Switzerland, saying this has been unequivocally proven by a statement released by the Swiss Federal Council last week.
El-Deeb was referring to a part of the council's statement which reads: "In the Egyptian context, the freeze dates back to 2011 and covers an initial amount of approximately $700 million. In keeping with the preventive nature of the measure, however, the fact of being listed in the ordinance on frozen assets does not necessarily mean that the persons concerned hold assets in Switzerland. In particular, this was not the case with former president Hosni Mubarak."
El-Deeb issued a lengthy statement on Sunday detailing in chronological order the developments in the case of Mubarak's assets since his 2011 ouster.
"There is no doubt that this conclusive statement from Swiss authorities decisively stresses what we have always stressed, that there are no overseas assets of any kind owned by President Mubarak," he said. "It also confirms [...] that he has never undergone judicial prosecution in any country in the world."
Mubarak was tried for multiple charges in Egypt over the past years while in detention following his toppling. The 89-year-old was set free last March.
The Swiss Federal Council has lifted an asset freeze imposed since 2011 on assets owned by Egyptians in Switzerland. The "realistic prospects of the restitution of these assets no longer exist within the framework of mutual legal assistance," the council said without revealing the names of the asset owners.
When asked about their identities, Pierre-Alain Eltschinger, another FDFA spokesperson, told Ahram Online that "in accordance with data protection, the FDFA does not communicate individual amount but only the global amount of the frozen assets."
The Swiss Federal Council said the amount of Egyptian assets frozen in Switzerland has been progressively reduced to about $438 million following the delisting of names from the ordinance upon the request of Egyptian authorities.