Chasing Mubarak’s Minister of Finance in London

Iqbal Tamimi

An Egyptian expatriate living in London has spotted Youssef Raouf Boutros Ghali, former Minister of Finance of Egypt, and one of many men of the corrupt regime of Mubarak, taking a walk in Knightsbridge, London on 14th April 2012.

The Egyptian citizen, Dr. Mohammad AbdelGhani, addressed Mr Boutros by his name and accused him of being a thief who ran away from justice after stealing the wealth of the Egyptian nation and killing people. He told him that a warrant from the Interpol has been issued against him and that they are looking for him and that he will be arrested.

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Dr. Mohammad AbdelGhani dared Ghali to call the police and complain to them, he even asked him to take a photo of him next to his car where the car plate can be recorded as evidence. He told Ghali that he is faking making a telephone call to the authorities.

Ghali told the Egyptian citizen, it’s you who is a thief, he also called him ‘Ya maaffen’ (means in Arabic language, infected with fungus), a slang swear word in Egypt which reflects looking down on the poor, describing them as dirty and penniless. 

The Egyptian citizen replied ‘I am living here with my dignity, unlike you, stealing our money and running away. Keep running away evading me. You have been running away for the past 5 minutes. Keep running coz you are a coward’.

Ghali told him while acting as if he is making a phone call ‘You will be detained’. The Egyptian man replied ‘Your hands are smeared with the blood of the Egyptian people’. Ghali became irritated, and tried to block the view of the camera lense while saying ‘Inta sayeb’ slang for someone who has no manners’. This did not deter the man from telling him ‘I am not, it’s you who is extremely cowered’.

The person filming the video added ‘you are attacking me? And swearing at me? Keep doing that. You are faking a phone call, come back, you are not talking to anybody. Let’s call the police’.

Dr. Mohammad AbdelGhani called the British police and informed them about the incident and demanded that the authorities should follow the procedures of handing Ghali to the Egyptian authorities to be tried, since he is wanted through the Interpol.

On 31 January 2011, as part of Hosni Mubarak’s responses to the 2011 Egyptian protests, Boutros-Ghali was replaced as Minister of Finance by Samir Radwan. Then, on 4 February 2011 the IMF reported that Boutros-Ghali had resigned the Chairmanship of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).

The morning of 11 February 2011, prior to Mubarak’s resignation, the VIP lounge at Cairo airport opened to accommodate Boutros-Ghali and his wife before they fly. It was claimed then that  Lebanon was their destination, while other ex-regime officials, including Mubarak himself, have been targeted with travel bans, asset freezes, and even arrests. Boutros-Ghali was accused of corruption and an Interpol international arrest warrant was issued. On 4 June 2011, after a trial that lasted 6 minutes Ghali was found guilty in absentia and sentenced to imprisonment for 30 years and fined 60 million Egyptian pounds for using a press that belongs to the ministry of Finance for his 2010 electoral campaign, and use of impounded cars for his personal use. Ghali’s attorney denied the charges and produced evidence the cars were given to civil servants which were entitled to official cars.

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