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Egypt govt offers convicted investors 'reconciliation'

Feb. 20, 2013 6:46 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 20, 2013 6:46 P.M.)
CAIRO (Reuters) -- The Egyptian government moved on Wednesday to entice back convicted investors who have fled the country, offering them arbitration that could overturn verdicts issued in absentia and that may lead to "full reconciliation".

With the country deep in economic crisis, the move signals that Egypt may be seeking to draw on the finances and expertise of exiled business leaders associated with ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

In a statement, the government said such a reconciliation would lead to the cancellation of jail sentences and unlock the investors' frozen assets.

The cabinet agreed on Wednesday to amend a law related to investor guarantees and incentives, it said. This would add a "clause stipulating that in the case of a court verdict issued in absentia convicting (someone), it is possible to take measures to reexamine the case".

This would be at "the request of, and in the presence of a special defender of the investor". The result of reconciliation would be "cancellation of the order to arrest and jail him, and ending the ban on dispensing and managing their assets, and dropping the criminal case for the investor".

It said it did not extend to co-defendants in the case and that they "would not benefit from it".
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