The runaway businessman Hussein Salem, who fled Egypt and is currently residing in Spain, is a Spanish citizen and therefore cannot be extradited to a foreign country, said Spanish Ambassador to Cairo Fidel Sendagorta on Thursday.
Salem obtained Spanish nationality in 2008, and is currently under house arrest pending investigation, Sendagorta told reporters.
He called on Egyptians to trust the Spanish government and judiciary, which he claimed enjoys a great deal of independence.
“Investigations into this case will take a long time because it is complicated,” he said, expressing his hope that Egyptians would grow to trust in the Spanish judiciary.
Calling on Egyptians to be patient, the ambassador also said that the Spanish government and people support the Egyptian revolution. Freedom and democracy deserve sacrifice, he said.
Sendagorta told reporters on Thursday that Egypt had called on Interpol to arrest Salem for bribery, abuse or power and squandering public money. He was then monitored by the Spanish government, which discovered evidence against him, implicating him in money laundering.
His son Khaled and a Turkish partner were also arrested, according to the ambassador. The judge ordered that 32.5 million euros be frozen and various possessions seized. The possessions include a luxurious apartment in Madrid and other real estate in Marbella with an estimated value of 10 million euros, in addition to five cars. The properties and money will be returned to Egypt once investigations have been concluded.
The Spanish prosecutor rejected the judge’s decision to grant bail, and ordered that the businessman be placed under house arrest so that he would not flee, Sendagorta added.
“Salem is now under house arrest in a hospital due to his poor health,” he said. He stressed that Salem should be tried for crimes he committed in Spain before being tried for anything else.
Translated from the Arabic Edition