CAIRO: A judicial official investigating the wealth of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday the job is proving “extremely difficult,” describing the strongman as a master of the “art of evasion.”
Khaled Selim, the head of the investigation unit of the Illicit Gains Authority, has been conducting a series of interviews with Mubarak, his wife Suzanne and their sons Alaa and Gamal, as well as former regime officials, as part of a sweeping probe into corruption.
“When I took on the task of investigating the wealth of former regime figures, I took an oath that I would not concede one penny of the Egyptian people’s money,” Selim told the independent daily Al-Shorouk.
“The interrogation of Mubarak and the old regime figures is extremely difficult and stressful,” Selim said.
“The marathon sessions require stamina, intense concentration, during which (one must) listen to their statements and analyze them at the same time,” he said.
Selim described Mubarak and the former officials as “creatures from another planet whose only good (quality) is the art of evasion.”
Mubarak is to face trial on Aug. 3 on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during an uprising that toppled the strongman. His sons will also stand trial on the same day for charges of using their father’s position for financial gains.
They, and a host of former ministers, are also facing trial on corruption charges.
Estimates of Mubarak’s wealth have ranged wildly from one million dollars to dozens of billions of dollars in money and assets.
His lawyer, Farid Al-Deeb, reiterated on Wednesday that the former leader’s wealth stood at LE 6 million (around $1 million) held in an Egyptian bank account in Cairo.
He said the figure covered all the money the 83-year-old Mubarak saved since graduating from the air force academy in 1949, state-owned media quoted him as saying.
The military council that took power when Mubarak stepped down on February 11 has vowed to bring to justice all those found guilty of abuse.