Egypt accepts Spanish court terms for Salem handover

A diplomatic source on Tuesday said Egypt has accepted the terms of the Spanish judiciary to hand over fugitive business tycoon Hussein Salem as reasonable and in accordance with Egyptian law.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source told DPA that Egypt relayed its acceptance through the Justice Ministry and the attorney general, not the Egyptian embassy in Madrid.

The Spanish court said Salem should have a fair trial before a panel consisting of members other than those who had sentenced him in absentia before, that he should not get a life sentence, and that he should be entitled to serve his sentence in Spain.

The source explained that Salem’s appeal brought the case back to square one, and thus Egypt’s acceptance of the terms is no more than a routine procedure.

A Spanish court ruled on 2 March to hand over Salem and his son Khaled to the Egyptian authorities. Salem appealed the court ruling the next day.

Salem is one of the most prominent symbols of the former Mubarak regime and has been in Spain since the 18-day uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak early last year.

On the first of March, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison in a corruption case, along with former Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and former Agriculture Minister Youssef Wally. Ebeid and Wally were each sentenced to ten years.

A close friend of Mubarak, Salem fled to Spain during Egypt's 25 January uprising last year.

After Mubarak's resignation, Egypt called on Interpol to arrest Salem for charges of bribery, abuse of power and squandering public money.

He was then monitored by the Spanish government, which eventually found evidence implicating him in money laundering in Spain. On 10 October, the Spanish secretary of state announced that Spain intended to hand over Salem to Egyptian authorities for his trial on corruption charges.

Salem also is being tried by the Cairo Criminal Court, in the same trial as Mubarak, on corruption charges. The court is scheduled to issue a verdict in that case on 2 June.

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