Former parliament speaker rebuffs corruption claims

Former Speaker of the People's Assembly on Thursday denied charges included in a complaint filed by 42 parliamentary workers accusing him of squandering public funds.

The complaint was filed on Wednesday by a group calling itself the Coalition of People's Assembly Workers at the Public Prosecutor against Mohamed Saad al-Katatny, former speaker of the dissolved People's Assembly, and the Assembly's resigned secretary, Samy Mahran. They accused Mahran of complicity with Katatny in allowing him to keep the car and sentry provided to him by the People's Assembly despite its dissolution in June.

But Katatny described the accusations on his facebook page on Thursday as " a crab that is not even worth a response." He said he will obtain a statement from the People's Assembly current secretariat to repudiate the claims.

Egyptian media commentators have slammed Katatny for keeping the government-owned vehicle in his possession. Independent daily Al-Tahrir Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Eissa said the car should be returned to the state since there is no legal reason for Katatny to keep it. Saeed al-Shahat, managing editor of independent daily Youm7, alleged officials have been keeping their vehicles and body guards at the expense of the state budget.

Meanwhile, state-run news agency MENA quoted Azza Sobeih, the new Assembly secretary as denying the existence of the Coalition of People's Assembly Workers which had filed the complaint against the former officials. She said she met with a number of workers who told her they had found their names falsely included in the complaint and denied any links to the document.

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