A close confidante of the president of Egypt overthrown by the January 25th Revolution has revealed that the government of Saudi Arabia offered the then military chief Field Marshal Hussain Tantawi a massive ransom to release him. Hosni Mubarak was eventually released from custody on bail following the coup against his democratically-elected replacement, Mohamed Morsi, in July.
Details of the ransom, alleged to be around $800m, were given by Mubarak's personal physician to an Egyptian newspaper. He claimed that the UAE was willing to pay a similar amount because "the sons of Shaikh Zayed were very sad about what was happening in Egypt".
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the greatest Arab supporters of the military coup in Egypt. They have pledged to pay billions of US dollars to the coup-backed "interim" government.
Article amended at 15.34 GMT on the 16th Sepetember 2013