Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

6 January 2014

Egypt Asks Switzerland to Unfreeze Funds of Mubarak-Era Minister

Egypt has sent Switzerland an official request to unfreeze funds owned by Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the former minister of trade and industry, an official from the prosecutor-general's office said on Monday.

The prosecutor-general has sent a letter to the Swiss authorities that demanded that Rachid's name be lifted off the list of officials who worked during Mubarak's rule and had their funds and assets frozen.

After autocratic President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising, the Swiss government froze the funds that belonged to Mubarak, his family and a number of officials who served during his rule, including Rachid.

Rachid's frozen funds in Switzerland amounted to approximately $780 million.

Prosecutors filed formal charges against former officials and businessmen of abusing their position to enrich themselves and misusing public money after the uprising.

The request to unfreeze Rachid's funds came after he reconciled with the authorities and paid the Egyptian government the amount of money they demanded, according to the prosecution.

Some of his funds remain frozen pending further reconciliation, a prosecutor confirmed, explaining that the former minister is still standing trial over other corruption charges.

Rachid's lawyer confirmed that the Egyptian government asked for the fund's unfreeze.

It was not immediately possible to obtain commentary from the Swiss government.

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