Swiss still probing frozen Mubarak fortune
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Swiss still probing frozen Mubarak fortune

Before returning some $589 million, Bern must establish it was obtained through criminal acts, attorney general says

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber speaks during a press conference in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 16, 2016. (Khaled Desouki/AFP)
Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber speaks during a press conference in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 16, 2016. (Khaled Desouki/AFP)

CAIRO, Egypt — Switzerland’s attorney general said Saturday his office was still probing whether the hundreds of millions of dollars of frozen funds belonging to ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s family originated from criminal activities.

Michael Lauber said investigations were underway to determine whether frozen assets worth 590 million Swiss francs ($589 million) were generated from “money laundering or from supporting and involvement in criminal organizations.”

Without naming Mubarak or his family members, Lauber told reporters at a press conference in Cairo that his office had looked into the accounts of 14 accused individuals since 2011.

He said his office had on Saturday filed about 30 requests for legal assistance with Egyptian authorities to establish the origins of the funds.

Lauber said that under Swiss law “a direct link has to be established to complete our criminal cases” and return the assets.

Egyptian Lawyer Farid el-Deeb, the head of the defense team of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal, reacts inside the courtroom in Cairo on January 9, 2016.(AFP Photo/Samer Abdullah)
Egyptian Lawyer Farid el-Deeb, the head of the defense team of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal, reacts inside the courtroom in Cairo on January 9, 2016.(AFP Photo/Samer Abdullah)

Egypt’s top appeals court last week upheld a three-year prison sentence for Mubarak and his two sons for corruption.

It was not clear, however, how long Mubarak would remain in detention. Both of his sons were set free in October with time served taken into account.

Mubarak has spent most of his time in a military hospital since his arrest in 2011, months after his ouster in a popular uprising.

In May, a court sentenced him and his sons to three years for having embezzled 125 million Egyptian pounds ($16 million) from funds meant for the maintenance of presidential palaces.

They were fined that same amount and an extra 21 million Egyptian pounds ($2.7 million).

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