Egypt pursues fugitive finance minister

The Egyptian foreign minister requested that his British counterpart extradite former Egyptian Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, who fled to London during the 18-day uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule early late year.

According to Egyptian diplomatic sources in London, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr proposed that Egypt and Britain sign an extradition agreement to resolve Boutros-Ghali's case and that of any other fugitives in either country. The two countries do not have any such existing agreements.

In June, an Egyptian court convicted Boutros-Ghali in absentia and sentenced him to 30 years in prison for profiteering and abusing his power to acquire public and private assets.

“Egypt and England will hold talks to sign an agreement over turning in the suspects and those who have court rulings issued against them,” state-run news agency MENA quoted Amr as saying.

 “The British promised during the talks in London to take serious procedures concerning officials affiliated to the former [Mubarak] regime and the runaway [Boutros-Ghali] in England."

Amr also said the UK would work on retrieving the frozen assets of former Mubarak officials.

British Foreign Minister William Hague asked Amr about the political situation in Egypt, and how the new Islamist-dominated Parliament would affect economic stability and security, the sources added. Hague also expressed Britain’s interest in the outcome of Egypt’s upcoming presidential election.

Boutros-Ghali, seen by many as one of the faces of a corrupt government that enriched the wealthy at the expense of the poor, quit his post in late January and fled abroad, days after the beginning of mass protests that culminated in Mubarak’s resignation.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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