Judges to follow up on retrieval of frozen assets abroad

The Egyptian government announced on Thursday its intention of sending a group of judges abroad to follow the process of retrieving money transfered out of Egypt by former President Hosni Mubarak, his family, senior officials and businessmen with ties to the regime.

Justice Minister Mohamed al-Guindi said the cabinet has approved a draft law issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) directing a judicial committee to travel abroad and follow up on the judicial procedures implemented to restore the money to Egypt.

Al-Guindi told reporters that the judicial committee is to be presided over by Assem al-Gouhari, an adviser at the Finance Ministry, and a number of experts.

He went on to say that the committee is tasked with retrieving any money transfered abroad and returning it to the Egyptian people, who are the rightful owners of all misappropriated public funds. The right of Egyptian citizens to have this money returned would not diminish over time, said al-Guindi, but would remain in play until those responsible were brought to justice and criminal convictions handed out.

Al-Guindi added that the SCAF was yet to review the draft law before issuing orders on the formation of the judicial committee.

Once formed, the committee will fly to those European countries that responded to orders to freeze assets after the 25 January revolution, said al-Guindi, denying rumors that some countries, including the United Kingdom, had not respond to the orders. Investigations will be conducted in both the United Kingdom and Switzerland, among other European nations.

The committee will be tasked with calculating the exact amount of missing funds, detailing how much is in the form of cash, real estate and tourism investments.

The minister clarified that the committee will be able to rely on the assistance of both foreign and local experts.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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