MP claims to know names of officials involved in Mercedes bribe case

Independent MP Gamal Zahran stated Sunday in the People’s Assembly that he knew the identities of the high-level Egyptian officials involved in an ongoing corruption scandal in which multinational automaker Daimler-Benz is alleged to have bribed Egyptian officials in an effort to increase local sales.

Zahran then asked permission from Parliamentary Speaker Fathi Sorour to disclose the names of the officials involved to the assembly. Sorour responded by ordering the MP not to reveal the identities of the officials in question.

Informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Sorour later asked Zahran in private to divulge the officials’ identities to him.

Zahran criticized the government’s decision to refer the case to the General Attorney’s Office without requisite evidence. He added that US authorities had stated they would not disclose the identity of the Egyptian official suspected of being central to the case unless the Egyptian government first sent an official request to do so.

Commenting on the bribery scandal, Sorour stated: “Parliament anxiously awaits the results of the investigation and has requested that the government issue a statement on the issue, since transparency is a hallmark of good governance.”

Legal Affairs Minister Moufid Shehab, for his part, said the government had requested that Daimler-Benz provide all information relevant to the case. He went on to urge all MPs with information about the case to inform the Attorney General, stressing that the government could not afford to ignore corruption in Egypt.

The minister noted that the Attorney General had taken on the case and that the matter was currently under investigation. Shehab also stressed that the government was fully prepared to refer corrupt officials to investigation, and that the government would take all necessary measures after finalizing its inquiries into the affair.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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