BEIRUT

Middle East

Former Egypt finmin released hours after arrest in France: source

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 1, 2004 file photo, Egyptian former Minister of Finance Yousef Boutros Ghali attends a meeting at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

PARIS: Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali was released following his arrest in Paris on an international warrant over corruption charges from his time in Hosni Mubarak's government, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

French police released Boutros Ghali hours after he was arrested at the request of Interpol on arriving in Paris from London on Monday, the source said.

The source said Boutros Ghali had to be released because of his status as a political refugee in Britain, which includes a guarantee against imprisonment under the Geneva Convention.

As the owner of a Schengen visa, he was free to remain in France or travel within the EU visa-free space, the source said.

Boutros Ghali was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison in Egypt for corruption and abuse of power following the uprising that unseated Mubarak in 2011. He was one of a group of influential economic policymakers close to Mubarak's son Gamal.

A nephew to former U.N. secretary general Boutros Boutros Ghali, Boutros Ghali left Egypt just after the 2011 uprising, which was fuelled in part by increasing economic hardship.

 

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