Egypt's government has officially concluded a reconciliation deal with fugitive Egyptian business tycoon Hussein Salem, a justice ministry official said on Wednesday.
Reconciliation was achieved with Salem, a once close associate of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, to drop charges against him in exchange for the business mogul giving up EGP 5.3 billion (approx. $596.5 million). This figure accounts for 75 percent of his assets inside and outside Egypt, Adel Al-Saied, a justice ministry aide for the Illicit Gains Authority, told reporters on Wednesday.
Salem's total assets are worth of EGP 7.12 billion (approx. $799 million), Al-Saied added.
The move came after years of negotiations as the government was trying to reconcile with officials and businessmen of the former regime who have been accused of graft charges to restore state funds.
Salem, 82, fled to Spain shortly after the 2011 uprising that overthrew Mubarak. He has received two jail terms in absentia over corruption charges including squandering public funds, profiteering and money laundering.
Salem was a major shareholder in East Mediterranean Gas, which exported gas to Israel.
Saied said he has requested the country's top prosecutor and the Illicit Gains Authority to lift freeze on the assets of Salem and his family.
The Illicit Gains Authority had received 26 requests from other Mubarak-era figures for reconciliation with the government, Al-Saied said.
He did not name the officials though said that 10 of the requests submitted were accepted and approximately EGP 302 million has been retrieved.