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Egypt: Mubarak's Family Hails Swiss Decision to Release Funds as 'Full Exoneration'

Egypt: Mubarak's Family Hails Swiss Decision to Release Funds as 'Full Exoneration'

Thursday, 14 April, 2022 - 09:15
Hosni Mubarak with his sons at court, Egypt (File photo: AP)

Swiss prosecutors dropped an 11-year investigation into alleged money laundering and organized crime by Egyptians close to late former President Hosni Mubarak, toppled by the January 2011 uprising.

The office of the Swiss attorney general said Wednesday that despite the numerous "inquiries and having transferred 32 million Swiss francs to Egypt in 2018, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) must now accept that the investigation has been unable to substantiate suspicions that would justify the indictment of anyone in Switzerland or any forfeiture of assets."

Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, hailed the decision as a full exoneration.

Gamal Mubarak said the decision "validates the position we have held all along" following more than a decade of "intrusive investigations, sanctions, and mutual legal assistance proceedings."

"The decision marks an important step in our efforts to assert our rights and prove our innocence from the flagrantly false allegations against us over the past 11 years," he said.

Swiss prosecutors confirmed they would release the remaining 400 million Swiss francs ($429 million) that had been frozen.

The Swiss decision follows a ruling by the European Union General Court on April 6 to uphold the annulment of EU sanctions against Mubarak and his family, which had unfrozen their assets.

Mubarak's family welcomed the decision, ending a decade-long legal battle.

The family said it received a "substantial payment" from the EU Council to refund legal costs.

The Swiss inquiry began in 2011 following events related to protests that led to the downfall of long-time Egyptian leader Mubarak.

The Swiss government froze assets held in Switzerland by Mubarak and members of his entourage.

The case initially involved 14 suspects, including Mubarak's two sons and 28 people and 45 legal entities whose assets were seized.

The original suspects, most of whom held official or critical economic positions in Egypt, were thought to have used Switzerland to launder the proceeds of corrupt acts.

The court convicted Mubarak and his two sons and seized the funds allocated to the Egyptian presidential palaces.

In 2018, the Court of Cassation rejected their request for reconciliation, issuing its decision to three years in prison and a fine of EGP125.799 million. They were also ordered to return EGP21.197 billion.

Mubarak passed away in February 2020 at the age of 91.

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