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Spain Freezes Detained Mubarak Associate's Assets

Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem (file photo)

Spain has frozen the assets of a business associate of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, after arresting him on charges of fraud.

Police said Friday they froze $47 million in bank accounts held by Hussein Salem, which they suspect was obtained illegally in Egypt. Police say they also seized homes and buildings worth $14 million.

Spanish authorities detained Salem Thursday on an international arrest warrant. He is accused of squandering public funds by selling gas to Israel at below-market prices. He also is charged with bribing Mubarak and his family, in return for gaining control of large areas of lucrative real estate property.

Salem fled Egypt about a week before Mubarak was forced to resign on February 11 after a wave of anti-government protests. The businessman faces trial on August 3, the same day that the former Egyptian leader and his two sons are to be tried on charges of fraud and orchestrating the killings of demonstrators in the opposition protests.

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