CAIRO: Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak has submitted a declaration of his wealth to authorities as he has every year since taking office in 1981, official media reported Sunday.
State TV and the official news agency MENA quoted Mubarak’s “legal representative” as denying reports in local and foreign media about the former president’s wealth, branding them as malicious rumors designed to stain his legacy.
The representative was not named and details of Mubarak’s declaration, including whether it was made before or after his ouster, were not given. However, the representative said Mubarak did not have any assets or property abroad.
Mubarak, who ruled for nearly 30 years, was forced out in an 18-day uprising against his authoritarian regime.
Egypt’s military, which has taken the reins of power after Mubarak’s Feb. 11 ouster, has come to the defense of Mubarak, a former air force chief and a hero of the country’s last war with Israel in 1973. The generals have warned against speculating on Mubarak’s wealth in the press, arguing that the former president has served his country well in more than six decades of public service
Speculation has put the Mubarak family’s wealth at anywhere from $1 billion to $70 billion. Watchdog groups allege that top officials and tycoons were involved in sweetheart deals in the Mubarak era, and that the Mubaraks were major beneficiaries of that system.
Much of what has been published in the local media has focused on the wealth of Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, as well as relatives of his wife, Suzanne.
Dozens of former ministers, businessmen and senior leaders of Mubarak’s ruling party are under investigation for alleged corruption. Three former cabinet ministers, including the once-powerful Interior Minister Habib El-Adly, have been arrested pending the completion of the investigation against them for alleged corruption.
Ahmed Ezz, steel tycoon and once a prominent leader of the ruling party, was also arrested last week. Ezz was a confidante of Gamal Mubarak, who over the past decade became the country’s most powerful politician after his father.
In the United States, the agency that polices financial crimes asked banks last week to comb their books for money linked to possibly corrupt deals by Mubarak and his government. Switzerland has also announced it is preemptively freezing any assets of former Egyptian officials.