Spain’s National Court has ordered the extradition to Egypt of a close associate of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Businessman Hussein Salem slipped out of Egypt in February 2011, eight days before Mubarak was forced to stand down by anti-government demonstrators. He was charged in absentia with financial speculation and fraud by an Egyptian court in May, along with Mubarak and the former president’ sons, Alaa and Gamal.
A month later, the 77-year-old was arrested in an affluent suburb of Spain’s capital Madrid, along with his son, Khaled, and Ali Evsen, a Turkish businessman who is alleged to have established companies through which Salem funnelled illegally obtained money from Egypt to Spain.
Spanish police froze $47 million worth of cash, homes worth $14 million and five luxury cars, according to the Associated Press. In October it was reported that an Egyptian judicial committee had uncovered papers showing that his two children have more than $4 billion of assets in several countries, according to Bloomberg.
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Prosecutors say Mubarak allowed a company in which Salem was a major shareholder to purchase gas from the Egyptian Government at below market price, which the company then sold on to Israel at a substantial mark-up. Salem is accused of siphoning off $714 million of public money in the deal, according to the BBC.
Mubarak is also alleged to have allowed Salem to buy discounted land on Egypt’s Red Sea coast from the government in exchange for five luxury villas.
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