Switzerland will delay the transfer of approximately $767m, which was smuggled out of Egypt by former regime officials. Attorney General of Switzerland Michael Lauber cited “political uncertainty” in Egypt for the delay, according to state-owned Swiss news agency SDA.
The Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland denied representatives from the Egyptian government access to the file on the case against former regime members, saying that the “institutional situation of the country” was a significant factor in the ruling. The court also pointed to alleged violations of human rights and political instability as reasons for not giving the Egyptian government access to material in the file.
Assets of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and other former regime officials have been frozen in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Spain.
Switzerland has taken steps to repatriate assets that had been smuggled into its banks, intending to send money back to countries that experienced uprisings throughout last year including Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter pledged last October that his government would return the assets to Egypt.
The return of the assets heavily depends on the trials of former regime members. Egypt’s Court of Cassation has granted Mubarak, former Minister of the Interior Habib Al-Adly, and six of their aides a retrial for their role in the killing of protesters during the revolution.