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Wednesday, 08 July 2020

Egyptian judges undermine the hunt for Mubarak's fortune: Judicial official

An Egyptian justice ministry official talks to Ahram Online, blaming all sides of the current political struggle in the judiciary for failing to trace the fortune of toppled president Hosni Mubarak

Amer Sultan in London, Saturday 22 Dec 2012
Mubarak
Mubarak's family (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland voided last week a previous decision of the Swiss Federal Prosecution to enable Egyptian authorities access to the results of the Swiss investigations into Mubarak family assets.

“Such access would give us very crucial information, not only about the source the Mubarak family money, but also about how they would transfer these funds from Egypt”, a very high-level official in Egypt's Justice Ministry told Ahram Online.

“We were nearly there.”

“The chaos in our judiciary and political rifts among judges and prosecutors are the main reason behind such a disappointing decision”, added the official who asked not to be identified.

Michael Lauber, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor, had decided to permit Egyptian authorities to get information about the results of the Swiss investigation into the sources of Mubaraks “assets in the Switzerland and the ways used to channel monies from Egypt to the Swiss banks.

However, the Egyptian authorities signed an official pledge not to use any information they may get in any other cases against Mubarak in Egypt or other country than Switzerland. 

 Mr Lauber has announced earlier that he had a team of more than 20 police investigators tracing suspected illicit Egyptian assets.

The Swiss authorities have frozen about £470m of suspect Egyptian assets since the overthrow of Mubarak “s regime on February, 11, 2011.

Farid Aldeeb, the Egyptian attorney of Mubaraks , has repeatedly argued that their assets are legitimate. 

Mubaraks lawyers in Switzerland used the public statements of different senior judges and prosecutors to support their argument that in such political and judicial circumstances, the Egyptian authorities will not be able to meet its commitment not misuse the information about Mubaraks” assets in Switzerland. 

“The elements of the toppled regime are still very active and spend a lot of money to submarine our endeavours to expatriate of billions of dollars, which were siphoned from the public purse,” the Egyptian judicial official said.

Ahram Online has also been privy to information that the Egyptian authorities are also after safes Mubaraks have in the Swiss banks. They believe these safes may have a lot of valuables.

“We are very keen to know how many safes Mubarak and his sons have in the Swiss banks and their contents.”

However, the official pointed out that the contents of the safes may include “very state sensitive documents.”   

The official urges all the Egyptian judges to stay out of politics.

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