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UK may hand fugitive former officials to Egypt

January 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Egypt’s former Minister of Finance, who is wanted in his home country on corruption charges, may be handed over to the government in Cairo after a British minister said the UK will not be a “haven for fugitives”.

According to Al-Mesryoon newspaper, the statement opens the door for Youssef Boutros Ghali to be sent back to Egypt from his current home in London.

Replying to a question about the situation of former Egyptian officials such as Ghali who are staying in the British capital, Minister of State at the Home Office Jeremy Browne said that the UK is dealing with them in the same way as any other state’s former officials: “We do not accept that our country can be a haven for fugitives,” he insisted.

In an interview with Al-Arabia TV channel, Browne said he cannot specify a time limit for the completion of investigations. It was reported that he had said that the British government does not want to go through the courts with weak evidence that could see such cases collapse.

The Home Office Minister likened the trail to find money embezzled from the Egyptian government to a “spider’s web” and said that tracing it would take a long time. “Money cannot be confiscated and returned to Egypt unless it is proven that it was smuggled out of the country,” Browne added.