Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak looks towards his supporters during celebrations of the 43rd anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, at Maadi military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo, October 2016 - REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO – 24 December 2017: Farid El-Dib, Mubarak’s lead defense lawyer, issued a statement on Sunday replying to the Swiss Federal Council’s announcement on Wednesday to lift a freeze on the assets of former President Hosni Mubarak.
El-Dib said in the statement that the Swiss Federal Council issued a statement to cancel the Egyptian ordinance in terms of seizing Egyptian assets abroad and the ways the media had tackled the decision incorrectly, stressing that “the following points about President Mubarak should be clarified.”
1- On February 11, 2011, the Swiss Federal decree was issued based on the articles in the Swiss constitution, freezing the assets of some Egyptian officials for three years, which is an administrative and a precautionary procedure issued by a political authority not by a judicial authority.
2- The mentioned decree was based, when issued, on what was reported in the media about the corruption cases related to Egyptian assets abroad. Consequently, the Swiss Federal Council has taken this precautionary procedure until the allegations were verified and were investigated by the Swiss Judicial Authorities.
3- The list of names under this precautionary procedure included President Hosni Mubarak’s on the basis of rumors spread in the media about the presence of assets outside Egypt without any factual evidence to prove such a matter.
4- President Hosni Mubarak unequivocally denied, starting 2011, all rumors that he has any kind of assets abroad. “I, therefore, as his lawyer ascertain his statement of registrable interest that he has not owned any assets abroad.”
5- In 2014, the Swiss Federal decree was renewed for another three years, with President Mubarak remaining on the freeze list.
6- In 2016, the Swiss Federal decree was renewed for a year, with President Mubarak remaining on the freeze list.
7- Campaigns in the local media have continued to refer to the presence of President Hosni Mubarak’s assets abroad, particularly in Switzerland. These campaigns have been escalated, coinciding with the date of renewal of the Swiss Federal Decree.
8- In March 2017, a local newspaper showed us false news claiming that the Swiss Judicial authorities dropped the charges against President Hosni Mubarak due to the lack of evidence.
9- On March 25, 2017, a press statement was issued, clarifying the facts as stated above and stressing that the former President Hosni Mubarak does not have any assets abroad.
10- On December 20, 2017, the Swiss Federal Council during its weekly meeting issued a decree to cancel the ordinance of seizing all the Egyptian’s assets with immediate effect. A detailed press statement on this decision was published in the official website of both the Swiss Federal Council and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
11- It is noted that the statement has not only explained the reasons behind this decision, but also mentioned clearly President Mubarak’s stance. The statement stated that in line with the precautionary procedure, the persons listed by the decree on the freezing of assets do not necessarily have any assets in Switzerland. This is not the case with the former President Hosni Mubarak.
12- The statement stated in paragraph 5 that "in line with the precautionary nature of this measure, the persons listed by the decree on the freezing of assets, does not necessarily mean that they have any assets in Switzerland, and in particular this was not particularly the case with former President Hosni Mubarak.”
13- It is undoubted that this unequivocal statement issued by the authorities in Switzerland confirms what we always affirm, and that is the absence of any kind of assets abroad belonging to President Mubarak. This also confirms what I explained in my statement on March 25, 2017, that President Mubarak does not have any foreign assets and has not undergone any kind of investigations in any countries across the world directly or indirectly.
14- The Swiss press statement could mention only the cancelation of Egypt’s ordinance without referring to the previous listed names over the past seven years, but to uphold the principles of transparency in terms of politically exposed persons including President Mubarak, the statement confirmed that he does not have any assets in Switzerland.
About 650 million francs ($664 million) were frozen by the Swiss government shortly after the revolution of January 2011. In order to investigate if the money came through illegal means, mutual cooperation between Egypt's general prosecutor and his Swiss counterpart was announced. The charges against former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, along with several other political figures and businessmen, varied between money laundering and organized crime.
The cooperation between both sides came as a result of Egyptian efforts and legal claims to restore frozen money after proving that it was smuggled in illegal methods. All the needed papers and documents were then submitted to the Swiss government, which in turn, approved the freezing of Mubarak’s assets and cooperated in the investigations, according to Al Arabiya in July 2012.
The assets of 14 suspects, including Mubark’s sons Gamal and Alaa, were frozen during 2011. However, in December 2016, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber announced in a press conference in Cairo that charges of money laundering and organized crime were dropped against a number of suspects and that a total of 180 million Swiss francs ($175.52 million) were unfrozen and returned to their owners.
The dropping of the charges came upon Egypt’s request after some of the included suspects reconciled with the state and repaid huge amounts of money