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Egypt's former first lady set for heart surgery, hospital says

By the CNN Wire Staff
Suzanne Mubarak. wife of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, in a file photo from June 7, 2010.
Suzanne Mubarak. wife of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, in a file photo from June 7, 2010.
  • A manager of the hospital in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh said she suffered a heart attack
  • The incident occurred shortly after she was ordered detained for 15 days in a corruption case
  • Hosni Mubarak was also questioned about his finances

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Suzanne Mubarak, wife of toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is expected to undergo open-heart surgery Sunday night, the manager of the Sharm el-Sheikh Hospital said.

Egypt's former first lady suffered a heart attack Friday after being questioned in a corruption investigation, Mohamed Fatah Allah said. She has been treated in the intensive care unit.

The incident came shortly after Suzanne Mubarak was ordered detained for 15 days in a corruption case, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

Assem al-Gohary, the assistant justice minister for the Illicit Gains Authority, ordered her detained for "obtaining illegal wealth using her husband's position and political authority."

A team of investigators from the authority, a separate investigative unit under the Ministry of Justice, had questioned the former president in the same hospital for three hours Thursday regarding "using his political position as president to acquire illegal wealth."

"Hosni Mubarak was also questioned about his luxury mansion in Sharm el-Sheikh," al-Gohary said.

Last month, the former president suffered a heart attack during questioning over possible corruption charges, Egyptian state television reported.

But the head doctor from a Ministry of Justice team assisting with the questioning disputed the diagnosis, saying later that the former leader had heart palpitations and was able to walk with assistance.

He was deemed stable enough to allow prosecutors to resume questioning at the hospital, according to the state-owned Al Ahram newspaper.

Mubarak has said the inquiry is aimed at tarnishing his reputation and that of his family.

The former first lady had been scheduled for questioning Thursday, but investigators postponed the interrogation until Friday morning. She was asked about the origin of 20 million Egyptian pounds ($3.4 million) deposited in her name in a local bank account, al-Gohary said.

Both Mubaraks were questioned about accounts in Al Ahly Bank, containing $147 million under their authority, he said.

The Mubaraks signed affidavits allowing investigators to further inquire into their bank accounts and wealth inside and outside Egypt.

Suzanne Mubarak, 70, was treated successfully for leukemia 10 years ago, said Hanaa Gohar, the former first lady's former press contact.

"She was very healthy and very active" before the revolution, Gohar said.

Hosni Mubarak, a U.S. ally and former military commander, resigned in February after nearly three decades in power amid massive demonstrations calling for him to step down.

Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this story.