Mubarak's stolen silver: Switzerland unable to return 'embezzled funds'

Published January 18th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT

Switzerland is unable to return former president Hosni Mubarak’s smuggled money in the absence of a "direct link" between the final verdict in the “presidential palaces” case and the money lying in the Swiss bank, the Swiss attorney general Micheal Luber said on Saturday.

In a Cairo press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Sadek, Luber said that the verdict against Mubarak must be carefully studied, which may take a long time.

The Cairo Court of Cassations had rejected on Jan. 9 the appeal made by Mubarak and his two sons against their three-year imprisonment in what is popularly known as the “presidential palaces” case.

In May 2015, the Cairo Criminal Court ruled to imprison Mubarak and his sons, Alaa and Gamal, for three years and to fine them EGP 125 million and 779,000 ((around $99,489). The three were also obliged to repay 21 million and 107,000 EGP (around $2,694,797).

The Prosecutor General had accused Mubarak and his sons of seizing and facilitating the seizure of funds worth EGP 125 million in the period between 2002 and 2011

“All the verdicts recently made will be analyzed,” Luber said, adding that if a direct link between the crime for which the verdict has been made and the money in Switzerland is not found then Switzerland will not return the wealth.

He also stated that the Swiss judiciary does not interfere in banking affairs.

“The situation is very complex,” Luber said, adding that he is unable to determine when the investigations will be over. He also stated that the Swiss bank accounts are still as they are, but are frozen.

The amount of cash frozen in Swiss bank accounts belonging to Mubarak regime figures amount to $650 million.

Since 2011, Egyptian authorities have repeatedly requested the Swiss Prosecutor's help recovering assets they suspected were held in Swiss banks.

No assets or funds have been retrieved since 2011 because of the absence of a final verdict in Mubarak's cases involving illicit funds and money laundering, according to the Head of the Directorate of international law at the Swiss Federal department of Foreign affairs, Valentin Zellweger.

Last October, Alaa and Gamal were released by a Cairo court for having completed their three-year prison sentence in the case. Mubarak is also not imprisoned and resides in a military hospital in Maadi.


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