CAIRO -

 A major controversy arose on social media in Egypt after the family of the late Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced the "end" of the decade-long international legal battle, following a recent ruling by the General Court of the European Union.

The family added - in a statement - yesterday, Tuesday, that the court recognized that "the restrictive measures imposed by the Council of the European Union on the family were illegal from the beginning."

In his first speech since the January 2011 revolution, Gamal - the son of the late President Hosni Mubarak - gave a video statement to comment on what the family called "the successful conclusion of all international judicial procedures related to the family."

The statement is Gamal Mubarak's first official appearance, as Egyptians have not heard him since the January 2011 revolution, and his photos were limited to court sessions, and later to social and family activities, and the family was satisfied with comments from the eldest son, Alaa Mubarak, via tweets on Twitter.

The statement received wide attention from the Egyptian street and on social networking sites, not because of what was stated in the statement as much as it being the first appearance of Gamal Mubarak since his father stepped down from power under the pressure of the January 2011 revolution, as well as because it comes after his visit and his older brother Alaa to Abu Abu Dhabi to offer condolences to the late President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Gamal Mubarak described the accusations of corruption against him, his father and brother Alaa as "false allegations that have persisted for nearly 10 years," adding, "My family has decided that we simply cannot remain silent any longer in the face of such defamatory reports.

He believed that "the fierce campaign of false allegations of corruption against President Mubarak and his family, which were exploited by the opposition forces to the president at the time to inflame popular sentiments, contributed to fueling events and influencing their course in 2011," as he described it.

"It is time to set the record straight. Today, after 10 years of extensive investigations, all the allegations against us have been proven completely false. There is not a single evidence that my late father or mother owned foreign assets of any kind, and it has not been proven." The allegations that other family members hid assets abroad are true,” the statement said.

Statement by the family of President Mubarak on the successful conclusion of all international judicial proceedings concerning the family.

The text of this statement can be read here:

https://t.co/kN4HoWdR7l

https://t.co/ffxaF3ZhAY

— Alaa Mubarak (@AlaaMubarak_) May 17, 2022

And the General Court of the European Union decided last month to cancel the decisions to freeze the funds of Mubarak and his family that were previously taken by the Union Council, issued in 2011, and which continued until last year regarding restrictive measures directed against some persons, entities and bodies in light of the situation in Egypt.

The decision included canceling the restrictive measures against Suzanne Thabet, the wife of the late president, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, and their wives, Heidi Razek and Khadija Al-Gammal, which means that the freeze on their funds was lifted.

The court also ruled that the Council of the European Union should bear the litigation costs incurred by the Mubarak family.

The court did not reveal the amount of funds that will be lifted from the freeze, which will be available after the expiry of the 70-day period for appealing the court's decision.

Gamal Mubarak confirmed that the family obtained a large amount from the Council of the European Union to recover the legal expenses, according to a ruling from the European Court of Justice, noting that the family will recover more of those expenses in accordance with the decision of the General Court of the European Union, and also confirmed that the family will demand the Council of the European Union for compensation. Because of his behavior towards me and my family," he said.

In a new ruling today, the General Court of the European Union provides a new, unequivocal judicial acknowledgment that the sanctions imposed by the Council of the European Union on President Mubarak and his family were unlawful from the start, ending a decade-long legal battle.

https://t.co/DUlc2OgurM

— Alaa Mubarak (@AlaaMubarak_) April 6, 2022

And last month, the Swiss prosecutor announced the release of the rest of the funds of the late Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and a number of those around him, which were frozen in its banks as part of an investigation that lasted about 11 years, and related to money laundering and organized crime linked to the Mubarak regime.

Swiss prosecutors said they would release 400 million francs ($429 million) frozen in the country's banks, after prosecutors failed to bring charges against anyone, citing insufficient information.

Prior to this decision, more than 210 million Swiss francs ($224 million) had already been released at an early stage in the case.

And last February, foreign newspapers published leaks indicating the existence of dozens of secret accounts of officials from several countries in the Swiss Bank (Credit Suisse), including Alaa and Gamal Mubarak.

The Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, confirmed that about 300 million dollars (227 million euros) of the Egyptian funds frozen in Switzerland are deposited in accounts with Credit Suisse in Geneva, and this money belongs - according to the newspaper - to Mubarak's sons Alaa and Gamal, and this amount constitutes 40%. Of the 700 million Swiss francs of money that Switzerland froze in its banks.

Legal representatives of Gamal and Alaa Mubarak responded in a statement, in which they said that they had previously disclosed all their bank accounts.

The rulings obtained by the Mubarak family - whether by unfreezing their funds or the invalidity of the procedures and penalties taken against them - raises the question again: Where did the family acquire these huge sums, even if they are hundreds of millions of dollars and not billions of dollars?

Does this change the reality of what was reported about the existence of corruption during Mubarak's rule, which lasted for nearly 30 years?

Professor Gamal Mubarak relies on people’s ignorance, lack of awareness, and the memory of fish for people, but where is the role of the educated in spreading corruption for 30 years and we are not going through it now, the end of the stage, but Jamal thought himself, take it seriously. Where did you get this, brother Jamal and your father is a government employee?

— Ahmed Farouk Mabrouk (@H8Vk6IxTOHzdI6u) May 18, 2022

He cut the tongue of those who say about Mubarak's family, a thief, Jamal and Alaa. They were working in a small association with their friends in the school, and they took the money, they bought the certificates of the National Bank, they took the money with Arab money, Ritamo, and they sold it and put it in a bank in Switzerland, Yadobek 429 million dollars 7 billion and 700 million #Jamal_Mubarak_Resident_Al-Jumhuriya

— adel khedr (@Adel_317) May 18, 2022

A decade of judgments and patents

This is not the first European ruling in favor of the Mubarak family regarding its frozen funds, as similar decisions have been issued in recent years;

In March of last year, a decision was issued to cancel the sanctions imposed in 2011 on 9 Egyptians, including the Mubarak family, on suspicion of stealing state funds.

A month after the January 25, 2011 revolution overthrew the Mubarak regime (1981-2011), the European Court of Justice decided to freeze his funds and members of his family in Europe, on the grounds that they might revert to the government in light of cases inside the country accusing them of financial corruption.

There is no accurate estimate of the size of the Mubarak family's money or their whereabouts, and the family has not announced any data in this regard.

On January 9, the Egyptian Court of Cassation (the highest civil court) rejected the second appeal submitted by Mubarak and his two sons to the three-year prison sentence against them in the corruption case known in the media as the "presidential palaces".

The ruling included a joint fine of more than 125 million pounds (about 15.96 million dollars at the time) to the three, and a joint obligation to return more than 21 million pounds to the state's public treasury.

The sons of Al-Aswool Jamal and Alaa Mubarak offer their condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed in the UAE ❤️@AlaaMubarak_ pic.twitter.com/UmgO1DUeRk

— Nour Ali (@NourAli451928) May 16, 2022

Mubarak's sons first foreign visit

The video statement comes after a visit by Gamal and Alaa Mubarak to the UAE, on their first foreign visit since 2011, and their reception by the new President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE.

Regarding the legal backgrounds of their travel for the first time outside Egypt after the January 2011 revolution, and their release from prison in 2015, the local newspaper, Al-Shorouk, reported that the cases in which they are accused remained pending after their release from prison, and placed them on the lists of people banned from traveling by judicial decisions.

Mubarak's two sons were released from prison in October 2015 after serving a 3-year sentence in the case of seizing presidential palace funds, which extended an additional 6 months to the physical coercion penalty for not paying the fine and the response imposed in the same case.

The case of stock manipulation ended with their acquittal in February 2020, but one case remained for them, which is money laundering, according to which a decision was issued by the Public Prosecutor in November 2020 to prevent them and their families temporarily from disposing of their personal or real estate funds and the continued travel ban.

But in July 2021 the decision was canceled, freeing Mubarak's two sons from any accusations or decisions that would restrict freedom, travel and disposal of funds for the first time since their arrest in 2011.

"We have won, father." The son of the late president # Gamal_Mubarak sends a message to his father after declaring "the family acquitted of corruption charges" pic.twitter.com/5ZQErGcHTu

- Al Jazeera Egypt (@AJA_Egypt) May 18, 2022

Questions and speculation

Activists interacted on social networking sites with the remarkable and first of its kind appearance of Gamal Mubarak, similar to the official speech, and some referred to it as the "next president", as he delivered the family's statement in English.

Jamal's appearance - semi-official - raised many speculations about the timing and purpose of the appearance: Is it a message to the outside?

Or whitewash the family page inside?

Some wondered whether the Egyptian authorities would pass the event of Gamal's appearance in this way unnoticed, or would they take a position on it?

Others ruled out that Gamal or Alaa Mubarak would have a political role in Egypt now or in the future;

Because of their conviction in a corruption case, which is the "corruption of presidential palaces", a final ruling was supported by the Court of Cassation, in which they all spent 3 years in prison, and that their visit to the UAE is nothing more than performing the duty of condolences to the friend of their late father.

On the other hand, others said that Gamal has the right to run in the upcoming presidential elections, 5 years after his release from prison and deprivation of his political rights.

It is noteworthy that the most severe criticism of Gamal Mubarak came through media professionals and pages known to support President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Gamal Mubarak's speech began what appears to be a referendum on the popularity of Sisi and the July 2013 regime on social media.

The result is as you see it.

By the way, the referendum comes after the regime's features, policies and personalities became clear after 9 years of rule.


God knows.

- Alaa Bayoumi - Alaa Bayoumi (@Alaabayoumi) May 18, 2022

Mubarak is not our topic now, do not concern yourselves with it!


The presence of his son in the past worried others, and his picture last night against the background in which he appeared will worry this others, and it is a picture for us more important than the picture of Hamdeen Sabahi lying down!


We will not join hands with Gamal Mubarak, but we will not fight Gamal Mubarak by proxy!


The believer is a clever bag!


#Jamal_Mubarak

— Selim Azzouz (@selimazouz1) May 18, 2022

No one told you to support Gamal Mubarak


, but in politics


, a strong tree can only


be shaken


by one of its branches.

— Haytham Abokhalil Haitham Abu Khalil (@haythamabokhal1) May 18, 2022

#Gamal_Mubarak_emergence#


prefabricated


civil


alternative

- May Azzam (@mayazzam_) May 18, 2022

Keywords: