x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Egyptian security chief in court

Trial of head of Egypt's security forces on corruption charges expected to be the first of many against Mubarak's officials.

CAIRO // The former head of Egypt's feared security forces appeared yesterday in court to answer corruption charges in the first of many cases expected against officials who served under ex-president Hosni Mubarak.

Standing behind bars and dressed in the white uniform worn by every defendant, Habib el Adly denied charges that he abused his influence as minister of interior to profit from a land sale and launder money through his private bank account.

The trial of Mr el Adly, who served as minister for more than 13 years until his resignation on January 31, was adjourned until next month to give him time to prepare his defence.

Egyptians have been captivated in recent weeks by media accounts of investigations targeting Mr el Adly and other former top officials that feature such details as the bad food and small cells they have endured at a prison outside Cairo. Public prosecutors say the investigations have grown out of thousands of official reports they have received since Mr Mubarak resigned on February 11 alleging corruption and abuse of power of former government officials.

Yesterday's 15-minute hearing was held in the Supreme State Security Court in a suburb east of Cairo under a heavy military presence, just a few kilometres away from the site of street protests that converged on a headquarters of the state security forces later in the afternoon.

According to a copy of the criminal complaint read out in court, Mr el Adly was charged with pocketing over 4.8 million Egyptian pounds (Dh2.9m) from a land sale that was facilitated by his employees at the ministry of interior. Further, Mr el Adly "has committed a crime of money laundering amounting to 4,513,100 pounds", the prosecution alleged.

"The attempt of this manner was to hide the true reason for this money, following investigations" that discovered the money in Mr el Adley's personal bank account, the prosecution added. The charges bring a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.


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