Hosni Mubarak’s wife released on bail

May 17, 2011

The wife of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was released on bail after agreeing to forfeit roughly $4 million, Egyptian authorities said Tuesday.

The release of Suzanne Mubarak, 70, came amid Egyptian media reports suggesting that Hosni Mubarak, 83, was planning to issue an apology for misdeeds while in office and offer to return more assets to the state. The gestures, according to the reports by the independent newspaper Shorouk and the state-run newspaper al-Ahram, would be part of an immunity deal.

Hosni Mubarak has been in custody in a hospital in the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh since prosecutors ordered his detention on corruption charges on April 13. His sons — Gamal, once widely assumed to be his father’s successor, and Alaa — are being held in a Cairo prison.

Al-Ahram reported Tuesday that Mubarak had signed a legal document relinquishing ownership of assets in Egypt. The report could not be independently confirmed.

A contrite address by Mubarak would be highly out of character for a leader who ruled Egypt as a police state for decades, and who remained defiantly unapologetic until military leaders forced him to step down Feb. 11.

The Mubarak family’s wealth, long a taboo subject here, became one of the galvanizing issues behind the 18-day, youth-led uprising that toppled the government.

Mubarak has been treated for undisclosed ailments for years. His aides cited a heart condition as a reason to keep him hospitalized earlier this month, rather than transferring him to Cairo for questioning.

The former president faces separate charges related to the deaths of demonstrators gunned down by security forces during the early days of the uprising.

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