Egypt’s former first lady to undergo heart test: agency

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CAIRO: Egypt’s former first lady Suzanne Mubarak will have her heart tested using a catheter in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh where she is being detained, the state news agency MENA reported on Sunday.

"Suzanne Mubarak is still in the hospital’s ICU and there is a decision to keep her for 48 hours to undergo a heart catheter," the agency said, citing Mohamed Fathallah, the manager at the hospital where former president Hosni Mubarak is also undergoing treatment while under detention.

An anti-corruption agency ordered Mubarak detained for 15 days on Friday for investigation into charges she used her husband’s influence to amass wealth unlawfully. She was admitted to hospital after suffering symptoms of a heart attack, Reuters reported.

The 70-year-old wife of Mubarak was placed in intensive care on Friday after state television reported she suffered a heart attack when she was remanded in custody in a corruption probe.

The public prosecutor had ordered the former president to be transferred to a military hospital and then to a Cairo prison, but the decision has been put off.

Justice Minister Aziz Al-Gindi on Saturday pledged the ousted strongman would see the inside of a prison cell once his health improves, saying "the law is applied to everyone, and no one is exempt," according to MENA.

Mohammed Fathallah, who heads the hospital, had said in a statement handed to reporters that Mrs Mubarak had suffered a "suspected heart attack and a sharp increase in blood pressure… She will be kept under observation."

The news came hours after the Illicit Gains Authority ordered Suzanne Mubarak’s detention for 15 days on charges of illegal acquisition of wealth.

Preparations had been underway to move her from the hospital to Qanater women’s prison outside Cairo, a senior security official told state media.

She was due to be transferred to Qanater by plane, he said.

She was interrogated in a hospital waiting room, close to where her husband has been in custody since when he also reportedly suffered a heart attack during questioning.

The former first couple are accused of having abused their position to enrich themselves illegally.

The half-Welsh Suzanne was seen as the driving force behind plans to have her son Gamal take over the presidency from his father, a highly unpopular prospect in Egypt.

The authority also remanded Mubarak in custody for a further 15 days on Friday, after the three-hour interrogation.

He has also been questioned by the state prosecutor on several other charges, including ordering the shooting of anti-regime protesters. His detention has been repeatedly extended.

During the questioning, Mubarak and his wife agreed to reveal details of their bank accounts both inside and outside Egypt, MENA said.

The former president was quizzed about a villa he owns in Sharm El-Sheikh worth LE 36 million (about $6 million) "without counting the cost of the swimming pool," MENA said.

He was also asked about having personal control of the $145-million bank account of the Alexandria Library.

The former first lady was interrogated about a luxury villa she owns in Cairo, as well as LE 20 million (about $3.3 million) held in a bank account, MENA said.

Mubarak, his wife, his two sons Alaa and Gamal and their wives were banned from travel and their assets ordered frozen by general prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud shortly after the former strongman was overthrown in February.

The two sons, along with dozens of officials and businessmen associated with the former regime, are being held in Cairo’s notorious Tora prison which housed political dissidents during the Mubarak era.

Their wives, Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga Al-Gammal, have also been questioned over Mubarak’s wealth.

Earlier this month, Switzerland said it had frozen 410 million francs ($463 million) in funds linked to Mubarak and his associates.

Mubarak’s 30-year grip on power was brought to an end on February 11 following 18 straight days of mass protests, after which the military council took power. –Additional reporting by Reuters



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