EXCLUSIVE: Draft law on recovery of stolen Mubarak regime assets
Amer Sultan from London , Friday 11 Jan 2013
Egyptian justice ministry proposes new draft law to expedite recovery of assets sent abroad by members of Mubarak regime

The Egyptian justice ministry has proposed a new draft law for the repatriation of stolen money sent abroad by members of the Mubarak regime, Ahram Online can reveal.

The new law will allow for investigations to be carried out in a “more efficient and professional way,” a source at the ministry said.

The ministry has already introduced the final draft to Prime Minster Hisham Qandil’s cabinet.

“The Illicit Gains Department (IGD) at the ministry has been trying to issue the law since August 2011,” the source said.

IGD is investigating a number of criminal cases against former regime figures, including ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Although the Asset Recovery Judicial Committee (ARJC) and IGD began their investigations soon after the revolution in early 2011, they have so far failed to recover any money from abroad.

“The new draft law aims to establish a more institutionalised mechanism to recover the assets,” the source said.

The justice ministry believes such a mechanism will also boost Egypt’s ability to recover assets stolen in the future.

Ahram Online understands the draft will be introduced to the Shura Council, the current legislature, before the end of January.

The draft law says judicial and government agencies will be the main part of the proposed mechanism.

Meanwhile, the UK will send one of its experts to help Egypt return its frozen assets.

“We plan to second a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer to Cairo soon,” a UK government source told Ahram Online.

The lawyer will serve as a regional asset recovery adviser who will assist with casework and forge links between law enforcement and prosecutors in the UK, Egypt and the region.

The UK government has frozen a total of £85 million ($133 million) worth of Egyptian assets.