Police said Sunday that a Moroccan businessman who had been tried in absentia in his North African country on fraud charges had been arrested in Britain.
Abdel mumeine Khalifa, arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of money laundering, is one of 104 defendants, including former government officials, and the massive trial opened in Morocco on January 8.
"Officials of economic crime and expert crime have arrested a 40-year-
"On February 27, an elderly man suspected of money laundering," a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman told Reuters . ".
"On March 20, he was released on bail to the police station in central London," she added . ".
Prime Minister belaziz Belkhadem confirmed to the APS official news agency that the British authorities had arrested Khalifa.
Khalifa has denied allegations of corruption in court against him in what is considered the country's worst financial scandal.
The trial is expected to last for several months.
Khalifa, the owner of the Khalifa group, said he was ready for trial in the UK and agreed to accept inquiries from Moroccan judges in the UK.
Khalifa, who has lived in Britain since 2003, has been deported.
On 2006, the two countries signed an extradition agreement.
The country's interior minister said the case would be a test of bilateral relations.
"If the UK cannot resolve criminal cases such as the extradition of Abdul Muman Khalifa, there can be no serious cooperation between the Arab states and the UK," he told APS . ".
The Khalifa group includes a bank, an airline, two TV channels and several companies operating in the areas of car rental, architecture, graphic design and catering.
It is estimated that 20,000 people were employed by the group.
The authorities estimate more than $1 billion (
514. 296 billion)
Several of the Khalifa officials they claimed were missing for embezzlement.
Authorities decided to clear the group after three employees were arrested and tried to board Paris.
A jet full of 2 million euro suitcases (1.
3 million)in 2003.