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Ambassador and Legal Adviser at the Swiss Foreign Ministry Zellweger

By Stephanie Nebehay, Geneva, Reuters – October 16. 2012

http://tinyurl.com/8wzj9r4

(Reuters) – Switzerland has blocked nearly one billion Swiss francs ($1.07 billion) in stolen assets linked to dictators in four countries at the centre of the Arab spring – Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia – the Swiss foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Swiss authorities are cooperating with judicial authorities in Tunisia and Egypt to speed restoration of the funds, but it is expected to take years, said Valentin Zellweger, head of the international law department at the Swiss foreign ministry.

“Today a total of one billion francs is blocked in the framework of Arab spring,” he told a news briefing in Geneva, giving the latest figures for funds frozen since early 2011.

The bulk of the assets, nearly 700 million francs, are tied to former President Hosni Mubarak and his…

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