EU court rules in favour of Mubarak family on assets freeze

The imposition of a decade of financial restrictions against the former Egyptian president was deemed unlawful

FILE PHOTO: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrives with his son Gamal in a court case accusing ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi of breaking out of prison in 2011, in Cairo, Egypt December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo
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The European General Court on Wednesday confirmed that sanctions imposed by the EU Council on the family of the late Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak more than a decade ago were unlawful from the outset, bringing an end to a protracted legal battle.

The European Union last year lifted the restrictive measures on Mubarak, his wife, two sons and their wives that were put in place after Egypt's popular uprising in January 2011 which ended his 30-year rule.

The sanctions included a freeze on assets held in the EU and a ban on any citizens or entities from the 27-nation bloc making funding available to those on the blacklist. They were applied to assist the Egyptian authorities in recovering misappropriated state assets.

But Wednesday's ruling stated that the EU Council's decision to list the Mubarak family was flawed from the outset. The court annulled the imposition of the sanctions, and confirmed that they were "removed retroactively from the legal order of the European Union and deemed never to have existed".

It also ruled that the council would bear the litigation costs incurred by the Mubarak family.

Mubarak and his family repeatedly challenged the punitive measures in court over the past 10 years. The deposed president died in 2020 at the age of 91.

Commenting on the EU General Court decision, Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal said: “It is now confirmed beyond any doubt that the EU sanctions imposed against my family over the past ten years were unlawful.

"My family has suffered enormous reputational harm because of these wholly unlawful designations. We have already received a substantial payment from the EU Council to refund our legal costs as ordered by the Court of Justice. We expect to receive more funds from the EU Council as ordered by the General Court today.

"Moreover, I have also asked our EU lawyers to explore every possible legal avenue to seek damages from the EU Council as a result of its unlawful measures against my family.”

Updated: April 08, 2022, 3:45 PM
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