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Mubaraks get travel ban, asset freeze
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 28 - 02 - 2011

CAIRO (Updated) - Eighteen days after he stepped down in response to a public revolution, Egypt's long-serving former President Hosni Mubarak and his family were banned from travel and their assets in local banks were frozen over graft complaints, a judicial source said Monday.
"A travel ban was issued against Mubarak, his wife Suzanne, his two sons Alaa and Gamal, and their wives and children. Their assets were also frozen," said Adel el-Saeed, a spokesman for Chief Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud.
He did not detail the complaints, but added that all banks and authorities concerned were notified on the ban.
The travel ban follows the Chief Prosecutor's decision on February 21 to freeze the foreign assets of Mubarak, the first sign that the ousted President would be held to account by the rulers to whom he handed power on February 11.
The official Middle East News Agency reported last week that had Mubarak submitted a financial disclosure statement to judicial authorities, adding that he routinely filed such statements.
The news agency was citing an unidentified representative of the former President who denied media reports about the size of Mubarak's wealth.
Mubarak stepped down after three decades of iron-fisted rule, handing control over to the Army and heading to the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he and his family are thought to be staying despite rumours he left to Saudi Arabia for treatment.
"The Prosecution had issued the decision (travel ban and asset freeze) in light of dozens of reports against Mubarak's fortune," said el-Saeed, who added that some documents were enclosed in the reports, which were referred to the local watchdogs for investigations.
He added that the Graft Prosecution was notified to take the measures against the reports, a measure that is usually followed questioning or an arrest warrant.
A Cairo criminal court will decide on Saturday whether to sustain the decision to freeze the assets of Mubarak and his family or cancel it.
"A court session headed by judge Makram Awad will decide on the Mubaraks asset freeze," a judicial source said.
On February 21, the prosecutors requested a freeze on the foreign assets of the former President and his family, tasking Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit with contacting foreign countries to seek the assets freeze.
The assets were confirmed frozen in the US, France, the UAE, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and some other countries.
The asset freeze and travel ban on the Mubaraks were among demands of protesters, who returned to Al Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 18-day revolution, which toppled the regime.
Moustafa Bakri, a former MP and a journalist, was the main claimant against Mubarak and his family. He filed dozens of reports on the fortune of the former President, his sons and his wife.
"In one bank, Mubarak's family had an account of LE250 million. It's clear in most of the reports that Mubarak abused his powers and allowed his family to illegally make huge wealth," Bakri said.
To the astonishment of the prosecutors, he also forwarded numbers of the bank Mubarak and his family in several local banks.
Media reports suggested the former President's wealth may total billions of dollars and some anti-Mubarak protesters accused him of squandering the wealth of the Arab world's most populous nation, but aides insist he has done nothing wrong.
"We will stay here until the funds illegally taken” by the Mubarak “be returned. We are still skeptical over what is going on," Mona Abdel Sallam, a protester in the Al Tahrir Square, told the Egyptian Mail.
Abdel Sallam and some other hundreds of protesters were creating makeshift camps in the square to go ahead with their revolution, whose main demands centred on dismissing acting Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and immediately removing the state of emergency.
"Mubarak's travel ban is good but this is not our ultimate goal," said Mohamed Adel, a spokesman for April 6th Youth Movement, who hold a banner reading: "Change + Purge = Reconstruction".


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