Court upholds freeze on former parliamentary speaker’s assets

Cairo Criminal Court on Tuesday upheld a decision by Egyptian authorities to freeze the assests of former parliamentary speaker Fathi Sorour, his wife and children.

Sorour's defense team rejected the decision, saying he has amassed his wealth from working more than 60 years in the judicial and legislative fields, and as a professor and speaker for the Arab and African parliaments.

The court backed the decision made by Egypt's Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) to freeze Sorour's assets, saying that the decision is precautionary and does not indict Sorour but only facilitates investigations.

One of the members of Sorour's defense team tearfully said the decision to impose a freeze on Sorour's assets tarnishes the reputation of a man he considers to be his mentor.

According to preliminary investigations by the IGA, Sorour has gathered wealth exceeding the income he generates from his work, which suggests he may have abused his powers.

The order freezing the assets of Sorour and his family and banning them from travel was issued on 4 May.

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