Friday, May 13, 2011

Stop playing dead; Go to jail Suzanne Mubarak!

Agence France-Presse
Mubarak wife in ICU after heart attack: TV

May 13, 2011

By Jailan Zayan (AFP)

CAIRO — Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, was moved to an intensive care unit after suffering a heart attack Friday, hours after being ordered detained in a corruption probe, state TV said.

"Suzanne Thabet has been moved to the intensive care unit at Sharm el-Sheikh hospital after suffering a heart attack," the television reported, referring to Egypt's Red Sea resort.

Mohammed Fathallah, who heads the hospital, said in a statement handed to reporters that Mrs Mubarak had suffered a "suspected heart attack and a sharp increase in blood pressure ... She will be kept under observation."

The news came hours after the Illicit Gains Authority ordered Suzanne Mubarak's detention for 15 days on charges of illegal acquisition of wealth and as preparations were underway to move her to prison outside Cairo.

Preparations were underway to move her from Sharm el-Sheikh hospital, where she was staying with her husband, to Qanater women's prison, Mohamed al-Khatib, head of south Sinai security, earlier told state news agency MENA.

She will be taken to Cairo by plane "due to the danger of transporting her by road," he said.

It was the first detention order for Mrs Mubarak, who along with her husband had been questioned on Thursday night by the illicit gains department.

The former first couple are accused of having abused their position for the illegal acquisition of wealth.

Crowds of people in Tahrir Square broke out into cheers and women ululated on hearing the news of her detention.

The half-Welsh former First Lady was seen as the driving force behind plans to have her son Gamal take over the presidency from his father, a highly unpopular prospect in Egypt.

On Friday, the authority also ordered a further 15-day detention of Mubarak after the three-hour interrogation.

He was first detained on April 13 and is currently in custody in the Sharm el-Sheikh hospital after having reportedly suffered a heart attack when he was first questioned.

He has already been interrogated by the state prosecutor over several charges, including ordering the shooting of anti-regime protesters, and has been held under remand for repeated 15-day periods.

During the questioning, Mubarak and his wife had agreed to reveal details of their bank accounts both in and outside of Egypt, MENA said.

Mubarak was also questioned about a villa he owns in Sharm el-Sheikh worth 36 million Egyptian pounds (about $6 million) "without counting the cost of the swimming pool," MENA said.

He was also asked about having personal control of the $145-million bank account of the Alexandria Library.

The former First Lady was interrogated about a luxury villa she owns in Cairo, as well as 20 million pounds (about $3.3 million) held in a bank account, MENA said.

Mubarak, his wife, two sons Alaa and Gamal and their wives were banned from travel and their assets ordered frozen by general prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud shortly after the former strongman was overthrown in February.

The two sons, along with dozens of officials and businessmen associated with the former regime, are being detained in Cairo's notorious Tora prison which housed political dissidents during the Mubarak era.

Alaa and Gamal had been questioned on their ties "with a company in Cyprus and one of the British Isles managing investment funds of some businessmen," a spokesman at the public prosecutor's office said.

Both men are also accused of forcing businessmen to give them a cut in local partnerships with foreign companies.

Before the popular uprising which ousted Mubarak, Gamal, who was close to business executives and held a top post in Egypt's ruling party, was regarded as the political heir to Mubarak, while Alaa concentrated on business.

The wives of Alaa and Gamal, Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga al-Gammal, have also been questioned over Mubarak's wealth.

Earlier this month, Switzerland said it had frozen 410 million francs ($463 million) in funds linked to Mubarak and his associates.

Mubarak's 30-year grip on power was brought to an end on February 11 following mass nationwide protests that called for his resignation and for political and economic reforms.

The military council which has been in power since Mubarak stepped down has vowed to bring to justice all those accused of abuse and launched a sweeping probe into corruption.

At least 846 people were killed during the anti-regime protests that kicked off on January 25 and took 18 days to overthrow Mubarak. More than 6,000 people were injured in clashes with security forces and regime loyalists.


Los Angeles Times
Egypt's former first lady hospitalized after detention order

May 14, 2011

Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of former President Hosni Mubarak, reportedly suffered a heart attack and will undergo tests, officials say. She had been ordered held for 15 days in a corruption inquiry.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Amro Hassan

Cairo— Hours after Egypt's former first lady, Suzanne Mubarak, was ordered detained as part of the widening corruption investigation of her husband's regime, she was hospitalized after reportedly suffering a heart attack, officials said Friday.

The manager of a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheik told the state news agency MENA that she had been transferred to intensive care. The hospital official told the news agency that the former first lady would undergo tests over the next 24 hours to determine whether she had suffered a heart attack.

Her husband, former President Hosni Mubarak, 83, has been in the same hospital since he suffered what were termed health complications last month, shortly after authorities announced that he would be detained.

Suzanne Mubarak was interrogated Friday, according to MENA, and had been ordered detained for at least 15 days, but was instead hospitalized.

The detention order was a once-unthinkable turn of events for the 70-year-old socialite, who styled herself as a patron of women's causes and spent years arranging for her son to succeed her husband, only to see her plan defeated in January by a popular uprising.

She was seen as a political operator who worked behind the scenes to promote son Gamal, who, along with her other son, Alaa, is among those being investigated.

"She had the upper hand in so many things in Egypt, sometimes even bypassing her husband's will. A whole Ministry for Family and Population was established a few years ago just for her sake," said Nabil Abdel Fattah, an analyst at the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. "She was the strong lady at the presidential palace."

Nawal Saadawi, an outspoken Egyptian feminist and one of Suzanne Mubarak's archenemies, called her detention "a positive step." She described Mubarak, who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at the American University in Cairo, as a "butterfly" who was "fond of her jewelry and clothes and her looks and plastic surgery." She said the former first lady used her connections to ban Saadawi's grassroots Egyptian Women's Union and consolidate her own power.

The public prosecutor on April 13 ordered the former president detained as part of an investigation of charges of abuse of public funds and the killing of protesters.

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