EU court rules in favour of Mubarak family on assets freeze
The European Court of Justice ruled Wednesday in favour of the family of late Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and confirmed the unfreezing of assets blocked over a decade ago.
The European Union had decided in March last year to end sanctions it had imposed on Mubarak, his wife, two sons and their wives following Egypt's popular uprising in January 2011 which toppled his 30-year rule.
Mubarak and his two sons were jailed for corruption in 2014. Although they were later released, an appeal to overturn their convictions was rejected.
The family is believed to have stashed away hundreds of millions of dollars of state funds into Swiss accounts, while much of the country was plunged into dire poverty during Mubarak's two-decade rule.
The EU sanctions included a freeze on assets held in banks in member states and a ban on any citizens or entities from the 27-nation bloc making funding available to those on the blacklist.
The measures were applied to assist the Egyptian authorities in recovering misappropriated state assets.
But Wednesday's ruling indicated that the "unnecessary prolongation of the measure" could not be reasonably justified.
In addition to granting the Mubarak family access to the funds, the court ordered the Council of the European Union to pay the costs incurred by the family.
If the council does not challenge the decision, the assets will be available after banks are notified and the time limit for the appeal has expired.
Mubarak and his family had repeatedly challenged the punitive measures in court, resulting in a legal battle that lasted over a decade.
The deposed dictator died in 2020 at the age of 91.