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Court unfreezes assets of Mubarak regime strongman

Egypt's Criminal Court lifts a freeze on the assets of key former NDP official Ibrahim Kamel for 'lack of evidence' of illicit gains

Ahram Online, Sunday 6 Jan 2013
Ibrahim Kamel
Ibrahim Kamel (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Criminal Court revoked Sunday the Illicit Gains Authority (IGA's) decision to freeze the assets of business tycoon and Mubarak crony Ibrahim Kamel.

The Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) had previously detained Kamel, a member of the now dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP), in October on charges of illegal profiteering and unlawfully amassing large fortunes. He was detained for over a month and then released on bail.

Kamel and his family were since barred from travel and from accessing their assets, until the Criminal Court revoked the IGA's decision for lack of evidence following Kamel's appeal.

Kamel is the chairman of the KATO investment conglomerate, one of the largest privately owned corporations in Egypt that functions primarily as a holding company and conducts activities in construction, tourism, and real estate development. He is notoriously known for being one of the rare NDP officials that promised in a television address to stage a pro-Mubarak demonstration that later turned into the "Battle of the Camel" violent clashes.

In April 2012, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), then Egypt's sole ruling body, issued a statement alleging Kamel and other former NDP members were behind the "Battle of the Camel" on 2 February 2011, and used political money to instigate disorder in the country.

This month only, Egypt's Criminal Court released on bail several key Mubarak regime figures accused of squandering public funds, including former state TV official Osama El-Sheikh.

Former Mubarak-era culture minister Farouq Hosny was also recently acquitted after being found innocent of illicit gains allegations.

To date, ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his family have not been convicted of financial corruption or embezzelment.

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