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Egypt Imposes Travel Ban on Mubarak

Prosecutor also orders financial assets of former president and his family inside country frozen pending investigation.


Ousted Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak attends a meeting with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma at the presidential palace in Cairo October 19, 2010. (Photo by: Reuters)

Egypt's general prosecutor has imposed a travel ban on former president Hosni Mubarak and his family pending further investigations.

The prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud on Monday also ordered the freezing of all of their financial assets inside the country.

"The decision today is acting on complaints received on wealth accumulated by former president and his family," a statement from the prosecutor's office said. The statement did not elaborate on the complaints.

The move follows a previous order for the family's financial assets abroad to be frozen, which the foreign ministry had requested from foreign governments and financial institutions.

Mahmud requested the freeze on foreign assets on February 21, while also charging foreign minister Ahmed Abuol Gheit with contacting foreign countries to seek the freeze.

Mubarak is the most high profile and most senior official of the previous government in Egypt to have a travel ban imposed on him. Media reports suggest the former president's wealth may total billions of dollars.

'Significant development'

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Cairo, said the order is a significant development.

He said the imposition of a travel ban is an attempt to portray the prosecutor as being robust in investigating crimes, or alleged crimes committed by the former regime.

The order comes in the wake of the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak, who held the Egyptian presidency for three decades.

The former president stepped down on February 11, after 18 days of mass protests across the country against his rule. He is believed to be living in seclusion with his family in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The country's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, to whom Mubarak handed power, has said it hopes to hold elections for a new president within six months.

Ibrahim Sharquieh, deputy director of the Brookings Doha Centre, said the country's military rulers are trying to show that they are serious about reform.

"Mubarak and family’s travel ban by Egypt’s prosecutor, political reforms and arrest of close Mubarak aides are positive steps," he told Al Jazeera.

"It gives assurance to pro-democracy protesters that people from the previous regime won’t be retained. However, the military needs to do much more to satisfy the protesters. It should hold election within six months."

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