Swiss may freeze Mobutu's assets

Geneva (Reuters) - Switzerland said it was considering a Zairean rebel request to freeze President Mobutu Sese Seko's assets in the country. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the demand came from the interim public prosecutor in the rebel-held city of Lumumbashi. "This request is now being examined," she said. Switzerland had previously said it wound consider such a request only if it came from the government.

Swiss media estimate Mobutu's fortune to be about $4bn (pounds 2,5bn) spread among secret bank accounts in Switzerland, where he also owns a luxury villa.

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