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Egypt court overrides tycoons’ asset freeze decision

Experts warned lawsuits will worsen country’s economic woes and scare off investors

Gulf News

Cairo: An Egyptian court Wednesday revoked a decision by the country’s public prosecutor to freeze assets of a dozen businessmen for involvement in an alleged insider trading.

The court decision was announced at the end of the first hearing on the ban imposed Sunday by the Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah against 23 business tycoons and ex-officials from the regime of the now-toppled president Hosni Mubarak.

Fareed Al Deeb, a lawyer for Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Jamal, who are being tried in the case, told the court that his two clients are the ones targeted by the charges and that the other suspects had been arbitrarily added.

In remarks published Wednesday in the independent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm, Abdul Rahman Al Sharbatli, one of six Saudi tycoons covered by the ban, called the move a “needless affront”.

Economy experts have warned that lawsuits filed by the government of the Islamist President Mohammad Mursi against businessmen will worsen the country’s economic woes and scare off investors.