Middle East

Egypt's Suzanne Mubarak freed after handing over assets

Suzanne Mubarak
Image caption Suzanne Mubarak is recovering after falling ill when told she was being detained on Friday

The wife of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was being held on corruption charges, has been released on bail after handing over assets.

Suzanne Mubarak turned over a villa in a Cairo suburb and $3m (£1.9m) held in bank accounts in Egypt, officials said.

The Mubaraks face allegations of illegally acquiring wealth while they were in power for 30 years.

Mr Mubarak - who was ousted in February - is also accused of involvement in the killings of anti-regime protesters.

The couple's two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are meanwhile being held in Cairo's Tora prison on fraud charges.

'Idea of revenge'

On Tuesday afternoon, officials said Egypt's prosecutor general had ordered Mrs Mubarak to be released from custody on bail. He did not give the amount of bail requested.

"The case into the illegal acquisition of wealth is still ongoing, however the wife of the former president does not need to be in detention because she relinquished her assets to the state," one source told the AFP news agency.

The 70 year old gave three powers of attorney to the head of the Illicit Gains Authority, authorising him to withdraw up to 20m Egyptian pounds ($3.37m) from accounts at two banks and to sell a luxury villa she owns in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis.

She had earlier denied charges that she abused her husband's influence for unlawful personal gain

The Mubaraks were both being detained at a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The former first lady is recovering after falling ill when told she was being detained by the Illicit Gains Authority on Friday. Initial reports said she suffered a heart attack but some officials say it was a "panic attack".

Reformers in Egypt believe the Mubarak family accumulated a fortune worth tens of billions of dollars while in power.

Mr Mubarak, 83, has denied this, and little hard evidence has yet been made public. However their bank accounts in Cairo and in Switzerland have been frozen.

Many Egyptians also believe the former first lady was instrumental in pushing for her younger son, Gamal, to succeed his father - one of the grievances that mobilised opposition protesters.