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Middle East
Egypt puts ex-PM Shafiq on border watchlist
Losing presidential candidate will be detained over an alleged corruption case if he returns from abroad, a judge says.
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2012 22:03
Egyptian authorities will detain Shafiq for questioning over an alleged corruption case if he returns home [EPA]

Ahmed Shafiq, the former Egyptian presidential candidate, has been placed on a watchlist at border points, Judge Osama el-Saeidy has said in a statement.

Egyptian authorities will detain Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, for questioning over an alleged corruption case if he returns from abroad, el-Saeidy said on Wednesday.

"The investigative judge decided to put General Ahmed Shafiq's name on the watch and travel ban lists based on investigations over his illegal allocation of 40,000 square metres of land ... to Alaa and Gamal Mubarak (the former president's sons)," el-Saeidy said.

Shafiq, who lost a presidential run-off vote against the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi in June, left Egypt for Abu Dhabi two days after his opponent was declared president.

His aides have repeatedly denied Shafiq is on the run, saying he would return soon to launch a new liberal political party, but the threat of arrest could deter him, analysts say.

Accusations denied

The case against Shafiq was lodged in May by Essam Sultan, a leader of the Islamist Wasat Party, who accused the former airforce chief of exploiting his former position as head of the Young Air Force Officers Association to sell land owned by the association to Mubarak's sons at reduced prices.


Shafiq has denied the charge and accused Sultan of being a former state security informant who had been used to spy on Islamists during Mubarak's era.

Sultan told Reuters news agency after Shafiq was put on the watchlist that he hoped his adversary would return "to face a fair trial and present evidence on the accusations he made against me".

Also on Wednesday, authorities charged one of Mubarak's most trusted men with corruption, including the illegal acquisition of villas, lands and apartments originally owned by the state.

Safwat el-Sherif, who served as the minister of information for nearly two decades, joins a long list of other former Mubarak cronies, businessmen, ministers and others to face trial over alleged corruption.

No date has been set yet for the trial.

El-Sherif 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 protests during the 18-day uprising against Mubarak in January last year.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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