What does the return of funds mean

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This content was published on May 11, 2011 - 4:25 pm

Cairo (awp / sda / dpa / afp) - Switzerland is ready to help Egypt repatriate funds from the former ruler Husni Mubarak and his loyal followers, provided that the illegal origin of the assets is proven. Cairo is to be supported in initiating legal assistance proceedings.
A delegation of experts from the Federal Office of Justice ended a two-day visit to the Egyptian capital on Wednesday to discuss the requirements for repatriation. "It is not easy, it takes time and information has to be exchanged," said the Swiss ambassador in Cairo, Dominik Furgler.
The talks had dealt with all legal and technical aspects that are important for the return of the funds, said the Egyptian Deputy Justice Minister Assem al-Gohari, according to the Mena news agency on Tuesday evening.
The Swiss government wants to return the assets to Egypt as soon as possible, affirmed the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). However, it was initially up to the Egyptian judiciary to prove the illegality of the funds.
A first request for legal assistance from Cairo was rejected at the end of March. The facts that the accused are accused of have not been described in sufficient detail, according to the Federal Office of Justice.
At the beginning of the month, Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey put the funds blocked in Switzerland from around Mubarak at around CHF 410 million.
Immediately after Mubarak's resignation on February 11, forced by ongoing street protests, Switzerland was the first country to decide to block all possible funds. In addition to Mubarak, this affects his wife Suzanne, his sons Gamal and Alaa, a brother-in-law and several ministers and politicians of the former regime party NDP.
The 83-year-old Mubarak is currently under arrest in a hospital in Sharm el Sheikh. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak are on remand in Cairo. Investigations are also underway against her mother, who is at large.
So far, two ex-government members, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and former Tourism Minister Suhair Garana, have been sentenced to prison terms of twelve and five years respectively for bribery and embezzlement. However, both judgments are not yet final.
In the course of the upheavals in North Africa, Switzerland blocked a total of around CHF 830 million, according to Calmy-Rey. In addition to the 410 million from Egypt, around 360 million come from the environment of the Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi. 60 million CHF will be allocated to the regime of the Tunisian ex-ruler Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali.
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