Saturday,16 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1129, 3 - 9 January 2013
Saturday,16 December, 2017
Issue 1129, 3 - 9 January 2013

Ahram Weekly

Gifts with a price tag

The prosecutor-general ordered a travel ban on 26 figures from the former regime, topped by Mubarak and his family, reports Mohamed Abdel-Baky

Al-Ahram Weekly

Earlier this week, Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdallah imposed a travel ban on ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his family, and 26 figures belonging to the former regime.
The list of those banned from leaving the country include Mubarak’s prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, former presidential chief of staff, Zakaria Azmi, ex-Shura Council Speaker Safwat Al-Sherif, former People’s Assembly speaker Fathi Sorour and former chairman of the state-owned Al-Ahram Establishment Ibrahim Nafie who led the establishment from 1984 to 2005.
The order prohibits all the former officials on the list from disposing their funds and properties due to the ongoing investigations in various corruption cases run by the Public Funds Prosecution.
Hassan Yassin, spokesman for the prosecution-general, said on Saturday that Nafie used to give expensive gifts from the organisation to former regime figures, a practice that remained in place from 1984 till the 25 January Revolution in 2011.
“Watches, gold pens, gold coins, ties, diamonds, leather bags and belts were among the gifts,” Yassin said.
Nafie’s successors Salah Al-Ghamri, Morsi Attallah and Abdel-Moneim Said have also been banned from leaving the country on the same grounds.
Al-Ahram’s gifts from 2006 until 2011 are estimated at LE50 million, according to the investigation, which is run by the Central Auditing Authority. The gifts were listed under a bill of advertisement costs by Al-Ahram Establishment, despite the fact that the organisation  suffered a financial crisis and tax debts that reached LE1.6 billion in 2010.  
The investigations indicated that Mubarak alone received LE7 million worth of presents from Al-Ahram from 2006 until 2011.
Mubarak is currently serving a life sentence on charges of being responsible for the killing of peaceful protesters during the 25 January Revolution. His two sons are in custody on corruption charges.
Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, stepped down in February 2011 following massive protests.
His sons Alaa and Gamal remain in custody on charges of corruption. The brothers are accused of using their position as the sons of the ousted president to get for themselves villas, luxury cars and stakes in Egypt’s key companies. Haidi Rasekh and Khadiga Al-Gammal, the wives of Alaa and Gamal, are not detained, and neither is Suzanne Mubarak, but they are all banned from travelling abroad.
The list of figures banned from travelling includes former minister of legal affairs and parliamentary councils Moufid Shehab, former health minister Hatem Al-Gebali, former finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali, who fled the country after the revolution, former interior minister Habib Al-Adli who is serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of protesters, and the former chief editor of the state-owned Rose El-Youssef press organisation Abdallah Kamal.
The travel ban also covers former secretary-general of the People’s Assembly Sami Mahran, ex-chairman of the state-owned Al-Akhbar news organisation Mohamed Ahdi Fadli, former secretary-general of the cabinet Sami Zaghloul, former head of the office of the People’s Assembly’s chairman Yosri Zaki, and Mubarak’s former personal secretary Mahmoud Abul-Wafa.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor-general has agreed to the Illicit Gains Authority’s (IGA) request to transfer the funds of Suzanne Mubarak from her accounts in the National Bank of Egypt and National Bank Société Général (NSGB) to the Central Bank of Egypt.
Abdallah was asked by the IGA to approve the transfer of LE27 million in Suzanne Mubarak’s accounts to CBE.
The authority had already ordered the freeze of the assets and funds belonging to Mubarak and his family.
In a related development, Swiss authorities have frozen $300 million in Credit Suisse accounts in Geneva held by Alaa and Gamal.
According to the Swiss media, the funds were deposited in Credit Suisse in 2005 after Switzerland tightened rules governing transactions by politically exposed depositors.
Swiss media also reported that Egypt-linked funds had also been frozen at the Swiss office of French banking giant BNP Paribas.
Switzerland has opened a probe targeting 14 people close to the Mubarak regime who are suspected of embezzling public funds and widescale corruption.
Earlier in December, Swiss authorities refused to provide the Egyptian government with access to their findings so far, citing concerns for the “institutional situation” in Cairo.

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