Egypt's Mubarak-era last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq will be detained for questioning over an alleged corruption case on his return from abroad, said an investigating judge on Wednesday.
Shafiq, who lost to Mohamed Mursi in the June Presidential run-off, left Egypt for the UAE capital Abu Dhabi two days after his Muslim Brotherhood opponent was declared elected President of the North African nation. His whereabouts remain unknown since then.
Judge Osama el-Saeidy said in a statement that Shafiq, appointed as Prime Minister by President Hosni Mubarak before his ouster in a popular uprising in January 2011, had been placed on a watchlist at the country's border points.
Shafiq is wanted in connection with an illegal allocation of 40,000 square meters of state-owned land to Mubarak's sons Alaa and Gamal who are now in jail, Egyptian media reported.
The case against Shafiq was lodged in May by Islamist Wasat Party leader Essam Sultan, who accused the former Air Force chief of misusing his former position as head of the Young Air Force Officers' Association to sell land it owned to Mubarak's sons at reduced prices.
Shafiq has denied the charges and accused Sultan of being a former state security informant who had been used to spy on Islamists during the Mubarak- era.
Also on Wednesday, authorities charged former Information Minister Safwat el-Sherif, one of Mubarak's most trusted men with corruption, including the illegal acquisition of villas, lands and apartments originally owned by the state.
Sherif had also served as the Secretary-General of the now-dissolved former ruling National Democratic Party, as well as the Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament. He is already on trial in another case on charges of collaborating in the orchestration of attacks on protesters during the 18-day Egyptian uprising against Mubarak.
by RTT Staff Writer
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