Mubarak wife granted bail

Cairo: Suzanne Thabet, the wife of Egypt`s ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was granted bail in a corruption probe after agreeing to hand over her assets amounting to over USD 3 million and a villa to the government.

Suzanne was taken into custody on Friday after being questioned by anti-corruption investigators probing allegations that she abused her position to amass illicit wealth.

Egypt`s public prosecutor today ordered the release of the former first lady on bail, Al Arabiya reported.

Egypt`s justice minister was quoted as saying by the channel that the country`s judiciary, which is investigating former first lady for corruption, would be satisfied if she returns the money to the state.

Suzanne had told prosecutors yesterday that she would turn to Egypt over all her assets which she claimed amounted to only USD 3 million.

"Should Suzanne Mubarak return money, that would be enough for the judiciary," Mohammed al-Guindy said.

Suzanne Mubarak, 70, was hospitalised on Friday after suffering a heart attack following a remand in custody in connection with a probe into her assets.

She was questioned for the first time by the Illicit Gains Authority on Thursday and sent to custody for 15 days in connection with the charges of making illicit monetary gains.

The former first lady relinquished some of her assets to the state yesterday.

Besides returning a Cairo villa, she gave authorities the power of attorney to withdraw up to 20 million Egyptian pounds (USD 3.37 million), which authorities said she held, from two bank accounts, official state news agency MENA said.

She has denied charges that she misused her position of influence to make illicit gains.

Some media reports have suggested the fortune of the Mubarak family may total billions of dollars.

The 83-year-old Hosni Mubarak was first detained on April 13 and has been interrogated by state prosecutors on several charges, including ordering security forces to shoot at peaceful protesters during an uprising against him.

Mubarak`s two sons — Alaa and Gamal — are also in custody over allegations of making illicit gains and were questioned last month. Their wives Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga al-Gammal were also questioned in the investigation into the Mubarak family`s wealth.

Mubarak was ousted in February after an uprising against his regime engulfed the entire country.

Since then investigations have been opened against him and his family.