Switzerland to adopt law allowing Egypt to retrieve fugitive funds

Ahram Online, Saturday 2 Feb 2013

While legal framework for retrieval of Mubarak era assets in Switzerland is falling into place, Swiss authorities say they will respond to Egyptian requests only when stability returns to Egypt

Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak lays on a gurney inside a barred cage in the police academy courthouse in Cairo (Photo: AP)

Swiss authorities have approved drafting a law allowing Egypt to retrieve in-country fugitive funds linked to ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his associates worth 700 million Swiss Francs (US$767 million), the head of Egypt’s international cooperation office of the public prosecution, Kamel Gergs, stated in a press conference Saturday.

Despite the approval of Swiss authorities for the law, Switzerland has suspended responding to Egyptian demands for the return of the funds until the country returns to stability from weeks of mass demonstrations, some of which have been violent.

Gergs added that in December the Swiss Federal Criminal Court rejected returning smuggled monies to Egypt, which pushed Egyptian authorities to appeal against the verdict.

The Swiss minister of foreign affairs described the verdict as shameful and not fitting for a country like Egypt, Gerges said.

In January, Switzerland said it would delay the return of millions of dollars of assets linked to Mubarak while it evaluates the Egyptian institutions requesting the return of the funds.

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