CAIRO: Egyptian businessperson Hussein Salem’s statements caused controversy among the politicians and observers when he expressed his desire to return to Egypt. He said he submitted an initiative to settle the different judiciary issues to pave the way to return.
A number of experts stressed the need to reach a reconciltory solution to resume their economic activities, and others called to take punitive action against them to teach a lesson to others.
“I want to return to Egypt. I authorized the Illicit Gains Authority to sell my seized aircraft in Cairo Airport,” Salem said in a phone call with In the Name of Egypt TV program.
Salem is accused of corruption during former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. He had a major role in exporting Egypt’s natural gas to Israel through the East Mediterranean Gas Company, which he owns. He was arrested by the Interpol in Spain in June 2011, but Spanish authorities released him on a 27 million euro bail.
Former Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Orabi stressed the need to achieve reconciliation between the Illicit Gains Authority and the businesspeople who were involved in corruption during Mubarak’s regime to push Egypt’s economy forward.
According to Youm7, Orabi said that those businesspeople will not dare to dabble in politics again and that they look forward to resuming their economic activities only.
Salem’s lawyer Tarik Abdel-Aziz said in an interview on In the Name of Egypt that Salem is keen to return for his projects to serve the economy and not to harm the project workers.
Adviser of Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies Waheed Abdel Magid refused the initiatives to achieve reconciliation. He said the government should not adopt double-standard policies dealing with the corrupt.
Abdel Magid told Youm7 that Hussein Salem should be referred to investigations and that reconciliation could only be achieved after creating an inventory of the smuggled money, if they really did not commit dangerous crimes.
Abdel Magid blamed Mubarak’s regime for providing the opportunities that supported the businesspeople to achieive illicit gains.