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Arab Forum on Asset Recovery to prosecute heads of state who stole public funds

The Arab Forum on Asset Recovery has announced that it will prosecute deposed heads of state who are believed to have stolen public funds while they were in power. Speaking during a meeting in Morocco, the UK's spokeswoman on the Middle East and North Africa, Rosemary Davis, said that there was a consensus among the officials about the importance of helping those Arab countries in transitional stages with the recovery of such stolen national wealth.

"The recovery of the money sends a strong message to the future," said Davis. "Corrupt politicians and senior officials will not evade punishment if they have used the money for personal interests."

The forum was established in 2012, as a stand-alone initiative in support of asset recovery efforts by Arab Countries in transition as a result of the Arab Spring. In a statement, it said that the money was not only stolen but should also have been invested within the Arab world in any case.

Working as a platform to bring together the G8 countries, the Deauville Partnership and countries in the Arab World, the forum held its first meeting in Doha in 2012. This, the second meeting, is being hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco and co-organised with Britain in its role as 2013 Chair of the G-8.

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