The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona has confirmed the right of Egypt to be a plaintiff in the criminal case against members of former President Hosni Mubarak’s entourage for money laundering.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office launched criminal proceedings against a dozen people, including Mubarak family members and close associates, for money laundering and organised crime offences following the dictator’s fall from power in February last year.
The move was in parallel to the government’s freezing of SFr410 million ($442 million) in assets held in Switzerland by Mubarak’s entourage.
According to the court’s ruling on Thursday, Egypt had been injured by the alleged corrupt actions committed by Mubarak’s former network of associates and family members. The court said it could not rule out the possibility that an organised criminal network was involved.
Egyptian authorities believe Mubarak’s two sons Alaa and Gamal stashed an estimated $340 million in Swiss bank accounts, with the majority - $300 million – held by Alaa.
The Mubarak family has insisted that money held in Switzerland by the two sons are “legal profits” connected with their work in stock market consulting with clients outside Egypt.
Swiss law only allows for money frozen in its banks to be confiscated and returned after its source has been declared illicit by a court. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office received a formal request from Egypt for mutual legal assistance concerning the restitution of funds last August.
swissinfo.ch and agencies