Mubarak-era figures offer to trade wealth for settlement

Finance Minister Momtaz al-Saeed said on Tuesday that some former regime officials currently detained in Tora Prison offered to relinquish part of their wealth in return for the government dropping corruption lawsuits filed against them.

At a press conference after a meeting of the committee tasked with repatriating funds siphoned abroad, Saeed said the government is studying the offers, but declined to mention the names of the officials.

“We may not be able to return all the money from abroad, but we seek to recover most of it,” he said, pointing to negotiations with Switzerland and the UAE for that purpose.

“Some countries require the issuance of final judicial verdicts before returning the funds.”

Last March, the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported that prominent businessmen, including Ahmed Ezz, the oligarch with a near-monopoly on steel, Mounir Ghabbour, Hisham al-Hathek, Hussein Sajwani, and Mohamed Abul-Enein offered to make financial reparations totaling some LE2.4 billion, seeking acquittal.

In same month, former Minister of Justice Mohamed Abdel Aziz al-Guindi said that the government was preparing legislation to settle with businessmen implicated in corruption cases in return for the money.

“We will not reconcile with those who are corrupt, but may reconcile with those who benefited from corruption without taking part in it,” Guindi said.

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