UK, Egypt resume talks on Mubarak assets recovery

Amer Sultan in London, Sunday 27 May 2012

Discussions will restart Monday on restoration of over $133 million of assets to the Egyptian people, the first meeting of its kind for six months

Mubarak poster
Overturning the Mubarak regime was the quick part: talks will restart after six-month freeze (Photo: Reuters)

The United Kingdom and Egypt will restart talks this week on the recovery of stolen Egyptian assets, Ahram Online has learned.

UK and Egyptian delegations are to meet in London on Monday to discuss the issue for the first time in around six months.
Sources from both sides confirmed to Ahram Online that two countries consider the London meeting "critical and very important".
The UK has over the last year frozen £85 million ($133m) worth of assets, bank accounts and properties owned by Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his family and other figures connected to his regime.
Egyptian authorities claim the assets were illegally gained.      
"The British side has promised to be more cooperative and helpful," an Egyptian judicial source told Ahram Online.
"The May 28th meetings will be important. We hope to see more action, not just words,"  he added.
The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also expressed its support for helping Egypt recover the monies.
"We are committed to recovering stolen assets and are working closely with the Egyptian authorities on freezing and returning Egyptian assets which their courts have identified as stolen," a FCO spokesperson told Ahram Online.
Such a move is critical to ensure justice but also to support Egypt’s economic recovery, he said.
William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, told Ahram Online recently that the repatriation of stolen monies is needed to support Egypt’s economic recovery.
"The meetings next week are part of this effort," FCO spokesperson said.
Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) officials will attend the meeting which will discuss how the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) process works in the UK.
Egyptians are supposed to follow MLA in order to accelerate asset recovery procedures.
The last official meeting between UK and Egyptian negotiators was held on the sidelines of a meeting of the European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) in the Dutch capital of The Hague in mid-December.
Egypt filed a lawsuit in the UK's high administrative court against the UK Treasury this March, accusing it of failing to co-operate enough  and "not giving any information about the frozen assets or persons who own them."
The Treasury said it helps as much as it can while respecting UK laws.
Short link: