Egypt Independent

Egypt, Spain to discuss handover of runaway businessman’s daughter

Egypt’s anti-graft agency has decided to send a delegation to Madrid to attend the closing court session that will decide whether or not to hand over the daughter of Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem, state-owned Al-Ahram reported Wednesday.

Assem al-Gohary, head of the Illicit Gains Authority, said the delegation will attend the 16 January session.

Salem, who fled Egypt in February after the breakout of the Egyptian revolution last January, faces charges of corruption and money laundering related to Egypt’s notorious natural gas deal with Israel. He has been held in Spain since his arrest in June.

Salem’s daughter and son, Magda and Khaled, were also arrested in Spain in July. They face charges of laundering 200 million euros.

Magda’s lawyer had filed more than 80 pleas attempting to stall the session, but the Spanish court turned them down. The court, however, allowed the Egyptian judicial panel to respond to any issues raised by the defendant’s lawyers concerning Egyptian and international laws that ought to be applied during the session.

Meanwhile, a Spanish law firm mandated by the Egyptian panel will be responsible for answering all pleas related to Spanish laws that might be raised by defense lawyers during the session.

The Egyptian panel had taken several measures to hasten Magda’s handover, explaining to the Spanish side the legal actions taken in Egypt against her, her father and her brother. It also explained the charges against the trio and the respective penalties by Egyptian laws.

Gohary predicted that a date might be set within three months for the court session that will consider Egypt’s request for Spain to hand over Salem and his son Khaled.