Return of Mubarak's assets depends on 'work of Egyptian judiciary': Swiss AOG

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Jan 2016

File Photo: Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak sits inside a dock in April at the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

The return of the frozen assets of toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak "depends authoritatively on the work and findingd" of the Egyptian judiciary, the attorney-general of Switzerland said on Sunday. 

Mubarak recently exhausted his appeals in a corruption case where he was found guilty of embezzling state funds.

A meeting between Egyptian judicial authorities and the office of the attorney-general of Switzerland took place on Saturday to exchange information regarding the criminal proceedings in the case and Mubarak's frozen funds in Swiss banks.

The funds seized amount to 590 million Swiss francs ($589 million/539 million euros) .

Under Swiss law, assets can only be forfeited if there is a proven connection to a crime.

"Since the start of the criminal proceedings, the office of the attorney-general of Switzerland (OAG) has asked for information from the Egyptian authorities in about 30 requests for legal assistance," a statement by the attorney-general read.

The office stressed that it has compared the information provided with the findings of its own criminal investigation, and is working to determine whether the assets frozen in Switzerland originate from crimes committed in Egypt.

In 2011, the OAG opened three criminal proceedings which were later combined into one proceeding against 14 accused individuals from the Mubarak regime.

The proceedings were initially related to money laundering on the basis of reports from the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS), but later included investigations into possible involvement in a "criminal organisation."

The OAG statement said that in June 2015 it abandoned the part of the investigation involving participating in a criminal organisation, but this was not put into effect after an appeal made by Egypt.

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