`Mubarak probe extremely difficult’

Estimates of Mubarak`s wealth have ranged wildly from one million dollars to dozens of billions of dollars in money and assets.

Cairo: A judicial official investigating
the wealth of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said
today 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 analyse 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," Selim said.

Mubarak and his two sons are to face trial on August 3
on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during an
uprising that toppled the strongman.

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-Dib, reiterated on Wednesday that
the former leader`s wealth stood at six million Egyptian
pounds 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.

PTI

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