Egypt urges EU to renew Mubarak asset freeze

Egypt has formally asked European Union countries to continue freezing funds belonging to deposed President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and other members of his regime.

Assem al-Gohary, the chairman of the committee that repatriates money sent abroad by members of the former regime, said in a statement that the request includes the assets of Ahmed Ezz, Habib al-Adly, Ahmed al-Maghraby, Zuhair Garana, and Ahmed Nazif, as well as the men's wives. 

Shortly after Mubarak was forced to step down, the general prosecutor ordered the foreign assets of the deposed president and his family to be frozen. 

Mubarak's actual worth remains a mystery. Last year claims that Mubarak, in his nearly 30-year reign as head of state, may have amassed a fortune of up to US$70 billion — greater than that of Microsoft's Bill Gates — helped drive the protests that eventually brought him down.

Last year Swiss authorities froze Mubarak’s assets, acting more speedily than when the EU froze the assets of another ousted North African ruler, former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

The European Union had decided to freeze the money for a year, which is about to end.

Gohary once estimated the frozen money to amount to 410 million Swiss francs, which Egypt is trying to repatriate in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry.

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