Prosecutors to decide this week on reconciliation offer from Salem

Hassan Yassin, one of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah’s senior aides, said that prosecutors this week will decide \ whether or not to to reach a legal reconciliation with fugitive businessman Hussein Salem, who offered to give the state half of his wealth in order to have all the cases against him dropped.

“Salem’s lawyer had submitted a request to reconcile in return for half of his properties inside and outside Egypt. The request is currently being mulled. Procedures will be taken this week,” said Yassin in an interview published in the state-owned Akhbar Al-Youm on Saturday.

Salem, one of ousted President Hosni Mubarak's closest friends, was convicted in October 2011 along with his son Khaled, and daughter Magda, to seven years in jail and a combined fine of more than US$4 billion on charges of money laundering and profiteering.

He was also accused of making illegal profits from Egyptian gas sales to Israel through his major stake in East Mediterranean Gas, which carried out the exports, but he was acquitted on these charges.

Following the fall of Mubarak in 2011, several of his former officials have been tried or are facing charges for corruption, money laundering and profiteering.

But current President Mohamed Morsy, facing a deep economic crisis, called in January for financial reconciliation with former President Hosni Mubarak's regime, a mechanism widely seen as an effort to inject funds into an ailing economy.

Yassin told Akhbar Al-Youm that a lawyer for the formerly ruling National Democratic Party’s Organizational Affairs Secretary Ahmed Ezz proposed reconciliation, asking for some time to study the issue and Ezz's legal status.

We’re still waiting for his response,” said Yassin.

Former Ministry of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who is currently based in the United Arab Emirates, also requested reconciliation.

Yassin said that his lawyer “submitted a request for the payment of fines imposed on him in the lawsuit of growing exports, estimated at LE3.9 million. He didn’t demand reconciliation.”

No news was heard from former ministers Zoheir Garana and Youssef Botros Ghali, Yassin said.

He added that the Public Prosecution is ready to ponder any requests, on the condition that the issue shouldn’t be related to charges over the killing or injuring of Egyptians.

Last week, Finance Minister Morsy Hegazy said that Egypt has reclaimed less than LE100 million in illegal funds from Mubarak-era officials either suspected of or charged with corruption.

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