EU governments not helping Egypt recover stolen monies: UK opposition
The UK's shadow justice minister calls on the UK government to accelerate efforts to trace and return Mubarak-era assets to Egypt
Amer Sultan from London , Saturday 12 Jan 2013
British MP Andy Slaughter (Photo: Video snapshot)
The UK opposition has accused the UK government of dragging its feet on helping Egypt recover assets placed abroad by Mubarak regime figures.
It pledged to put pressure on the government to close the file as soon as possible.
The Labour shadow government heavily criticised the Tory-Liberal Democrats coalition government “for not doing enough” to return frozen assets in UK to Egypt.
“There are billions not just millions of pounds belonging to Mubarak’s entourage in the UK which our government should do more to trace and send back to Egypt,” Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith and shadow minister for justice, said.
Slaughter’s remarks came during a speech in a Christmas dinner hosted by the Egyptian Association in the UK.
“If the UK and other European countries really want to support Egypt economically on the occasion of the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, they have to help the Egyptian government to retrieve billions of dollars siphoned by Mubarak’s regime,” Slaughter added.
Slaughter has sent a number of letters to the UK government asking why Egypt has not been helped enough. The responses are always, he said, very general.
The UK government has frozen £85 million ($133 million) worth of Egyptian assets since March 2011. It says UK authorities are doing what they can to help the Egyptians retrieve the frozen assets once UK legal and judicial conditions are met.
The UK Foreign Office confirmed that helping Egypt return the frozen assets is one of its priorities.
Slaughter said he would seize the occasion of the anniversary of the revolution to raise the issue again in the House of Commons. He added that he is keen to ensure that the UK is not a safe haven for corrupt regimes or officials.
He also called Egyptian communities in Europe to put pressure on European governments to accelerate the process of tracing and returning assets to Egypt.