EGYPT: Legal expert weighs the implications of Suzanne Mubarak’s release

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Nasser Amin, an Egyptian lawyer and member of the International Criminal Court, coordinator for the Arab Coalition for the ICC and member of the National Council for Human Rights, spoke with Babylon & Beyond about the implications of former Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak’s release from custody Tuesday. Mubarak was released after she turned over about $4 million in assets to government investigators handling a corruption probe into her family and other members of the ousted Mubarak regime.

Q: Did it make sense that Suzanne Mubarak was released once she had turned over assets and property to investigators?

A: Egyptian laws are very clear when it comes to those who are charged with financial corruption or illegal gains. They can all be released once they hand back all the financial assets to the state, as in the case of Suzanne Mubarak.

Q: What will her release mean for former President Hosni Mubarak and the rest of his inner circle, currently under investigation for corruption, among other crimes? A: This could pave way for Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and former ministers and officials, who are currently being interrogated or charged with financial corruption, to do the same. Personally, I’m in favor of pressuring those officials to return all their assets to the government and release them once we make sure they’ve handed back everything they gained illegally. In case of officials who’ve already been indicted for their financial crimes (as in the case of former Interior Minister Habib Adli and former Tourism Minister Zoheir Garana), if they decide to hand over their assets, their sentences could be suspended, (put on hold until further notice or never enforced).


Q: But Mubarak and some others are being investigated for more than just financial crimes -- could they still be released?

A: Criminal charges, such as Mubarak’s role in (directing security forces to) shoot at protesters during the revolution is a different thing and no one, including the ruling Supreme Military Council, is entitled to pardon any of those interrogated for criminal charges even if they return all their financial assets.


Timeline: Revolution in Egypt

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo