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Egyptian Court Upholds Decision to Freeze Mubarak Assets

Egyptian protesters shout slogans as they gather to call for the trial of members of ousted President Hosni Mubarak in front of a court in Cairo, Egypt, March 8, 2011

Egyptian judicial officials say a court has upheld a decision to freeze the assets of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family.

The court Tuesday rejected Mubarak's appeal against a decision by Egypt's top prosecutor to bar him and his family from leaving the country and seize their funds and property. The family is facing corruption charges that the new government is investigating.

Last week, the office of prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud did not disclose details of the investigation involving the family. But it said the travel ban applies to Mubarak, his wife Suzanne, his two sons and their wives.

The move came a day after military authorities prevented Mubarak's wife and younger son Gamal from flying out of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh when they attempted to leave the country. It is not clear whether the ban was issued because they tried to flee.

Media reports suggest the Mubarak family's assets may total billions of dollars.

Nearly half of Egypt's 80 million people live under or near the poverty line set by the World Bank at $2 a day. Mubarak is suspected of turning a blind eye to corruption by family members and their associates. Many of the allegations of wrongdoing center on the business activity of his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, as well as Gamal's wife and her family.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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