Spanish prosecutors support Hussein Salem’s extradition to Egypt

The International Court in Madrid on Thursday began considering Egypt's request for the extradition of Hussein Salem, an Egyptian businessman wanted on charges of money laundering. Salem is also a defendant in the financial corruption case against ousted President Mubarak.

The Spanish public prosecutor stood before the court and expressed approval of the Egyptian request to hand over Salem, although he also holds Spanish citizenship “due to the adequate guarantees provided by the Egyptian side to ensure fair litigation and trial.”

Three international law firms contracted by Egypt to argue the case presented a portfolio of documents indicating that Salem’s son Khaled and daughter Magda had committed money laundering crimes, and that Egyptian courts had provided all available legal safeguards. Salem appeared leaning on a crutch inside the courtroom.

The Egyptian defense team, represented by Ahmed Saad, a member of a judicial committee tasked with recovering stolen funds from abroad, and Ahmed al-Demeiri, member of the Attorney General’s Department of International Cooperation, provided the court with proof that Salem had used his Egyptian passport 51 times for travel purposes.

The team requested Salem’s arrest and detention. It claimed he was trying to fool the court by pretending to be ill, adding that it feared Salem’s escape to another country.

The Spanish prosecution said that claims that Egyptian trials are unfair are false, especially as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes articles on normal litigation procedures, as well as guarantees to ensure a speedy trial for the defendant.

Meanwhile, Salem’s lawyer said there were no real guarantees for his client’s trial in Cairo. He said he feared Salem would receive a severe sentence that was not commensurate with his crimes.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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