ZURICH Jan 14 Switzerland has said it will
delay the return of millions of dollars of assets linked to
deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak while it evaluates the
institutions requesting the money.
Swiss authorities have frozen about $700 million in assets
connected to Mubarak and his entourage. Since Mubarak was
toppled in February 2011, Egypt's new rulers have made three
formal requests to Switzerland for judicial assistance to
recover the money.
The attorney general's office said it has reviewed some 140
different accounts in the course of its analysis, which would be
completed at the end of January, when it would decide what to do
After the Arab uprisings began in early 2011, Switzerland
blocked funds stashed in its banks linked to former Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi, former Tunisian president Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well
as money linked to Mubarak.
"The attorney general has asked the relevant Swiss
authorities, namely the Federal Office of Justice, for an
analysis of the situation of the institutions in Egypt," the
attorney general's office said in a statement.
"Based on this analysis, the attorney general will decide
how to proceed in the legal assistance and criminal proceedings
The office did not give details of which institutions it was
analysing, or why.
Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, elected in June, provoked
criticism from opponents that he was ruling in the same
autocratic way Mubarak had for 30 years when he awarded himself
sweeping powers in November to push through a new constitution.
The text, which Mursi fast-tracked through parliament and a
national referendum, was fiercely opposed by many of the
liberals, secularists and leftists who had helped to topple
Mubarak, and has prompted often violent protests on the streets
On Sunday, Egypt ordered that Mubarak be retried after
accepting an appeal against the life sentence he received last
year over the killing of protesters during the uprising, when
around 850 died.
(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by Alison Williams)