A lower Spanish court rejected Egypt’s latest request to extradite businessman Hussein Salem and his son Khalid, according to state-run news agency MENA on Thursday.
The court ruling ruled on a supplemental demand filed by the Egyptian Public Prosecution.
The men were sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison by the Cairo Criminal Court for squandering LE700 million in public funds over a gas deal to Israel. They were also found guilty of bribing former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons with luxury villas and palaces.
A judicial source told MENA that the Illicit Gains Authority had not made any new requests for their extradition since the Spanish Constitutional Court had already refused an Egyptian request in December.
The source added that the Spanish Supreme Court said the country's Constitution does not permit the extradition of Spanish citizens accused of crimes in countries unless the nation has judicial and legal bilateral cooperation agreements.
The source then revealed that there is preliminary approval for such an agreement between Egypt and Spain, which may have driven Salem’s lawyer to began reconciliation proceedings under a new Egyptian law.
The Illicit Gains Authority has made three requests for Hussein’s extradition so far, according to the source. It has also requested that Interpol issue a warrant for his arrest, which it did, preventing Salem from leaving Spain.
The source said Salem had changed his name in an attempt to throw off investigators.
Salem is also facing charges of money laundering in Spain, with Egyptian authorities providing evidence against the businessman.
Edited translation from MENA