Farid al-Deeb, lawyer of former president Hosni Mubarak, has admitted that Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, have assets worth US$340 million in Switzerland.
In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine on Thursday, Deeb said that the amount of money belonging to Mubarak’s son announced on 17 October by the Illicit Gains Authority is correct.
He said that he gave the Illicit Gains Authority “documents that prove that these funds [$340 million] were noted in the financial possession declaration of Gamal Mubarak in 2003, 2008, and 2011. I submitted the sources of the funds obtained from the sons' work in global stock-market consultation with clients outside of Egypt who have nothing to do with Egypt's market.”
He argued that all those assets are legal.
“The revenues entered a joint account owned by the two brothers, which was then separated in March 1, 2008. The funds in the accounts, after years of [accumulating] interest, reached over $300 million. Is it wrong for a man to make legal profits?”
Mubarak and his sons have been charged with corruption, and all three are under arrest. Mubarak is also charged with complicity in the killing of about 850 protesters during the 18-day uprising that forced him to leave the office he held for three decades.
Egypt's attorney general froze the assets of the former president’s family on 20 February, in the aftermath of 18-day uprising that ousted Mubarak.
Deeb said, “Mubarak and his wife do not own a single dollar inside or outside Egypt. The total funds in his bank do not exceed 6 million Egyptian pounds.”
However, on 17 October, Assem al-Gohari, head of the Illicit Gains Authority, said in a statement that Mubarak and his family own assets worth $450 million in Switzerland and might have been involved in money laundering.
Gohari added that Mubarak's sons have deposits in Swiss banks worth $340 million, of which Alaa owns $300 million.
Deeb described Gohari’s announcement as the "October 16 television freezing."
“I think those behind the second announcement imagine that their media stunt will serve their interests in retrieving the millions from Switzerland,” he said. “They are taking the wrong path. I responded to Deputy Justice Minister Assem al-Gohari [who announced the freeze], and reprimanded him for misleading the public. They did not ‘discover’ anything.”
Asked about the situation of Mubarak’s family, Deeb said that the bill of the former president, who is currently hospitalized in an expensive presidential suite, is being paid for by the government “as the law permits with any president or former president.”
His wife, Suzan, receives a monthly pension around 93,000 Egyptian pounds (or $15,500), said Deeb.