UK demands evidence before returning former officials’ foreign assets

The British ambassador to Egypt demanded to see evidence from Egyptian authorities before returning assets that former President Hosni Mubarak, his family and other regime officials have in the UK.

Ambassador Dominic Asquith said that recovering the money "should occur according to British laws and based on a UK court ruling," the Egyptian news agency MENA reported.

Retrieving money allegedly smuggled out of the country by former officials–estimated to be in the tens of billions of Egyptian pounds–is a top priority after the downfall of Mubarak's regime.

Asquith said the UK is ready to return the frozen assets of Egyptian officials if Egyptian authorities provide proof that they have been transferred illegally.

"British authorities had, more than one month ago, requested Egypt to provide evidence," Asquith he said. "We are still waiting for an Egyptian response."

Asquith said that if evidence becomes available, a UK court will investigate and then return the money to Egypt if the transfers prove to be illegal.

He ruled out setting a specific date for returning the assets. He also declined to estimate the size of UK assets owned by the Mubaraks and Egyptian officials.

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