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EGYPT: Attorney general bans Mubarak and family from traveling

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The Egyptian attorney general has forbidden former President Hosni Mubarak and his family from leaving the country, the state newspaper Al Ahram reported. The travel ban includes Mubarak, his wife, his two sons and their wives, as well as his grandchildren.

Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud, Egypt’s prosecutor-general, has also given orders to freeze the family’s financial assets. The move comes after an inquiry into Mubarak’s wealth filed by former member of parliament Mustafa Bakri. According to Al Ahram, Bakri submitted at least 40 files stating that Mubarak’s wife and sons have 24 accounts in Egyptian banks, in addition to other secret accounts with an estimated sum of more than 200 million Egyptian pounds, or $147 million.

The decision is expected to ease many Egyptians’ concerns over the ruling Military Council’s willingness to speed up the process of fighting corruption. The former ministers of Interior, Tourism and Housing are all currently detained for interrogations in connection with charges of corruption and misuse of power.

On Friday, thousands of Egyptians took to Tahrir Square, demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who was chosen by Mubarak to head the new Cabinet a few days before the ex-president was forced to step down. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has already asked foreign countries to freeze Mubarak family assets and foreign bank accounts.

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Since resigning on Feb.11, Mubarak is believed to have been staying at a private residence in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo


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