Skip to main content

Swiss prosecutors drop money laundering case against Mubarak's sons

Sons of the late Egyptian strongman hail the decision, calling their assets 'entirely legitimate'
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak (C) is escorted by his two sons Alaa (R) and Gamal (L) in a Cairo court, on 26 December 2018 (AFP)

Swiss federal prosecutors have dropped an 11-year investigation into suspected money laundering by Egyptians close to Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring uprisings, freeing up millions of dollars for the late strongman's family.

"Despite the numerous enquiries and having transferred 32 million Swiss francs to Egypt in 2018, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) must now accept that the investigation has been unable to substantiate suspicions that would justify the indictment of anyone in Switzerland or any forfeiture of assets," the OAG said in a statement.

It said it would release the remaining 400 million Swiss francs ($429m) that had been frozen.

The Swiss judgement follows a decision by the European Union’s top court on 6 April to uphold a ruling deeming EU sanctions against Mubarak and his family unlawful and ordering the EU to pay legal costs incurred by the Mubaraks.

Credit Suisse leaks: From King Abdullah to Mubarak's sons, the Middle Eastern figures involved
Read More »

"Today's decision by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office, after more than a decade of intrusive investigations, sanctions and mutual legal assistance proceedings, validates the position we have held all along," son Gamal Mubarak said in a statement.

"Our assets and activities were and are entirely legitimate and were fully declared to the relevant Egyptian authorities. The decision marks an important step in our efforts to assert our rights and prove our innocence from the flagrantly false allegations levelled against us over the past 11 years.”

Swiss authorities launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering by the family in 2011, in relation to the protests that toppled the elder Mubarak. The Swiss government froze assets held in Switzerland by Mubarak and members of his entourage. The investigation involved 28 people and 45 legal entities whose assets were seized.

The original suspects, most of whom held official or important economic positions in Egypt, were thought to have used Switzerland to launder the proceeds of corrupt acts.

The Egyptian authorities asked Switzerland for legal assistance to recover the money following Mubarak's ousting, but the proceedings ended without success in 2017.

Mubarak stood trial on charges of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 uprising. He was acquitted in 2017 and died three years later at the age of 91 in a military hospital in Cairo.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.