Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saudi prince seeks to stop Mubarak trial

Saudi billionaire Prince al-Walid bin Talal

Source: Press TV

Saudi billionaire Prince al-Walid bin Talal has reportedly offered an exorbitant sum of money in an attempt to collapse the trial brought against Egypt's toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The Saudi mogul has recently met with a number of authorities in the new Egyptian government and proposed to pay them some USD 4 billion. In return, he expects the officials to dismiss charges leveled against the 83-year-old Mubarak, IRNA cited a report published by al-Watan news website.

Prince al-Walid bin Talal also sought immunity from the prosecution of Mubarak's family.

Hundreds of people stage demonstrations on an almost daily basis in Cairo's Liberation Square to demand that Mubarak and his senior associates must be put on trial and held to account for their “crimes” against the Egyptian people.

The anti-government protesters also want assets held abroad by the ousted Egyptian ruler to be recovered.

Corruption was endemic in Mubarak's Egypt where 40 percent of the country's 80 million people lived on USD 2 or less a day, and critics accused officials of usurping the nation's wealth.

There are claims that Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa may have amassed a fortune of up to USD 70 billion.

An Egyptian fact-finding committee has laid charges against the former Egyptian ruler for intentional murder of protesters during January demonstrations that drove him out of power.

Former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adli is also accused of ordering police to open fire at the demonstrators.

He is already facing trial for misappropriation of national assets and money laundering.

The charges against Mubarak and al-Adli have already been submitted to the Public Prosecutor's office.

Several high-ranking police officers have recently been arrested and are being questioned for ordering the killing of anti-government protesters during the 18- day-long Egyptian revolution.

More than 360 people died in the revolution and thousands were injured, when rubber bullets, live ammunition, water cannon and tear gas were used against peaceful Egyptian demonstrators.

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