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Egypt chief prosecutor seeks to freeze ex-president's foreign assets

Egypt's chief prosecutor on Monday requested that Foreign Ministry officials take steps to freeze any foreign assets belonging to former president Hosni Mubarak [Al Jazeera profile] and his family.Prosecutor Abdel Magid made the request [AFP report] even though Mubarak submitted a declaration of wealth indicating that he possessed no foreign assets. Mahmud stated that the freeze would apply to Mubarak, his wife, as well as his two sons and their wives. Switzerland froze assets held by Mubarak and "parties close to him" [statement], shortly after Mubarak announced his resignation on February 11. Swiss authorities reportedly froze "several dozens of millions" of francs [Reuters report] kept by Mubarak and related parties in Swiss banks, although the legitimacy of these funds is still under investigation.

Mubarak stepped down after nearly three weeks of demonstrations [Al Jazeera report] protesting the Egyptian government and calling for his resignation. Mubarak's resignation left state affairs in the hands of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which pledged to lift the country's emergency laws [JURIST report] that were in place for nearly 30 years once circumstances in the country improved. The Council also vowed to have a peaceful transition to power and promised not to prosecute "honourable people who refused corruption and demanded for reform." On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] called for an end to violence against protesters [JURIST report] in various countries across the Middle East and North Africa [BBC backgrounder] currently embroiled in protests. During the three weeks of protests leading up to Mubarak's resignation, nearly 400 people were killed and 5,500 were wounded.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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