Three former ministers arrested in Egypt

Posted By: Bno
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CAIRO, EGYPT: The Egypt's Public Funds Prosecution on Thursday ordered the arrests of three former ministers on corruption charges, the Egypt Daily News reported on Friday.

Former Ministers of Interior Habib El-Adly, of tourism Zuheir Garannah, and of housing Ahmed El-Maghraby will continue in custody for the next 15 days at the Tora prison while the investigation is ongoing.

In addition, Egyptian steel mogul Ahmed Ezz was detained as part of the same probe. Ezz, the former leading member in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), is accused of obtaining construction permits in the Suez free trade zone in contravention of existing regulations.

Former ministers El-Maghraby and Garannah are under investigation for allegedly misappropriating public funds. El-Adly is held on allegations of money laundering and abuse of power.

The former Interior minister is also blamed for the brutal treatment of demonstrators as well as the sudden absence of security forces during the recent protests which ended the 30-year-long reign of President Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian authorities also froze assets of El-Adly and his family as reports surfaced indicating that over $680,000 were transferred to his personal account by the head of a real estate contracting company.

In addition to the four detainees, authorities said that approximately a dozen former ministers and businessmen are under investigation for corruption or abuse of authority. All of them have had their assets frozen and travel bans imposed on them.

Mubarak, who led Egypt as president for three decades, stepped down last Friday after weeks of anti-government protests by crowds calling for greater democracy and respect of human rights.

This week, the Egyptian Higher Military Council appointed a committee in charge of proposing constitutional amendments to address demands of the people. The army took control of Egypt after Mubarak stepped down and announced that it will run the country temporarily for six months or until elections are held.

The military council also dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution following 18 days of mass protests in Cairo and other parts of the North African country. All government officials are now reporting to the military high command in the same way it reported to Mubarak before he resigned.


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