In his first public statements since he was toppled as president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak denies he and his family have engaged in corruption. He also denied that he kept money or other assets in foreign bank accounts.
I cannot stay silent regarding the incitement campaign against me. I have been in great pain because of the unjust campaigns and untrue allegations targeting myself and my family, he said in the tape-recorded message made Saturday and broadcast on Sunday on al-Arabiya TV.
They aim to tarnish my reputation and discredit my integrity, my stance, my political and military history during which I worked hard for Egypt and its people in peace and war.
Of greater urgency, Mubarak has been requested to appear before Egypt’s state prosecutor-general to answer questions about alleged corruption as well as the deaths of protesters during the anti-government demonstrations that led to his forced resignation.
Mubarak's sons Gamal and Alaa must also face the prosecutor.
Protesters and others estimate that Mubarak may be as much as $70-billion stashed away in foreign banks.
Mubarak stated he will cooperate in any investigation and that he has nothing to hide.
I agree to submit any written letters to help the general prosecutor and foreign ministry to ask any government in the world to expose my assets abroad since I took office, he said. I want to make sure that the Egyptian people know I only own assets in a bank account inside the country.
He also added: “All the assets I own and my sons are far from any allegations of corruption. After the legal process is complete, I reserve the right to legally pursue those who engaged in lies and distortions against me.”
However, Mubarak added he will launch legal action himself in the event he if defamed in a campaign he describes as defend himself against a campaign of distortions, lies and incitement.”
I reserve my legal rights toward whoever tried to ruin my and my family's reputation, he said.
The state’s decision to interrogate Mubaral follow massive protests last week in Cairo's Tahrir Square in which demonstrators demanded Mubarak and his family face trial for corruption. Activists have vowed to remain in the square until Mubarak is tried.
Several of Mubarak’s former cronies and ministers, Ahmed Nazif, the country's former prime minister, have been detained and will undergo corruption charges in court.
Mubarak’s whereabouts since he stepped down from power two months ago raised much speculation, with some people insisting he fled Egypt.
However, he and his family are believed to have stayed in their villa in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh all this time. They have been banned from leaving the country and their assets have been frozen by the state.
There is also much speculation about Mubarak’s health (he is now 82).