Middle East
Mubarak's former chief of staff arrested
Egyptian state prosecutors order that Zakaria Azmi be jailed for 15 days pending a corruption investigation.
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2011 21:23
Egyptian demonstrators had demanded that Azmi, centre, be investigated [EPA]

Egyptian state prosecutors have ordered that a former top aide to Hosni Mubarak, the country's ousted president, be jailed for 15 days pending a corruption investigation.

Zakaria Azmi, Mubarak's chief of staff for 22 years, was arrested on Thursday after being accused of using his position to amass a personal fortune.

Prosecutor Assem el-Gawhari announced Azmi's preliminary imprisonment on state television.

Azmi was considered an influential figure within Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and is one of many former regime officials whom protesters would like to see prosecuted or at least investigated.

The slow pace of those investigations, and a lack of arrests, have spurred the protest movement to rally followers back into the streets, with large demonstrations planned for Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday.

Protesters are also demanding the complete dissolution of the NDP.

Azmi, an NDP politician from east Cairo, served as Mubarak's chief of staff from 1989 until the president stepped down on February 11, following 18 days of upheaval that saw millions of Egyptians take to the streets.

Following Mubarak's resignation, state prosecutors arrested three high-ranking officials: interior minister Habib el-Adly, housing minister Ahmed Maghrabi, and tourism minister Zuheir Garana.

Protesters have continued to demand investigations into other powerful figures, including Safwat el-Sherif, speaker of the upper house of parliament, and Fathi Sorour, speaker of the lower house.

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