April 11, 2011
CAIRO: Egypt's top prosecutor has notified the United States and other governments around the world that the former president Hosni Mubarak and his family may have hidden hundreds of billions of dollars worth of cash, gold and other state-owned valuables.
The prosecutor-general, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, said that Mr Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, might have violated laws prohibiting the ''seizing of public funds and profiteering and abuse of power'', using complex business schemes to divert the assets to overseas companies and personal accounts.
The claims spelled out in the document are the most sweeping to date against Mr Mubarak, who was forced from power after three decades in February.
The assets alleged to have been taken by the Mubaraks total more than $US700 billion ($660 billion) - far exceeding earlier estimates, but the figure may be wildly exaggerated. Previous estimates of the amount allegedly stolen range from $US1 billion to $US70 billion.
A 12-page document titled ''Request for Judicial Assistance'', was obtained by The Washington Post and is intended to provide the legal basis under civil law to recover assets belonging to the Egyptian people.
The document mixes the credible with the questionable. Gamal Mubarak's role at one of the Arab world's largest investment funds, EFG Hermes, has long fuelled suspicion. But other statements appear to be supported only by hearsay witness testimony, secondhand news accounts, and, in two cases, by what apparently are fraudulent bank documents.
It also highlights the difficulty facing Egyptian prosecutors and a military council in responding to public demands that the Mubarak regime be held accountable after 30 years of rule.