A judge authorized by the Justice Ministry to hear the case has decided to refer former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq to a criminal court along with 10 other former officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation over charges of profiteering and seizing public funds.
The referral petition said the defendants had agreed to allocate ministry-owned lands to private firms without calling for tenders as stipulated by the law. They also entrusted private companies to implement projects for the ministry for inflated prices, also without calling for bids, according to the referral order.
Shafiq, who was the last prime minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, traveled to the United Arab Emirates in the wake of his loss in the presidential election against Mohamed Morsy in June.
Authorities have placed Shafiq on airport watch lists and named him as a defendant in another criminal case on charges of selling a 40,000 square meter plot of land in Ismailia that was owned by the Cooperative Housing Association of Air Force Officers to Mubarak’s sons, Alaa and Gamal, at below-market rates in the 1990s, when he was the commander-in-chief of the Air Force. Alaa and Gamal Mubarak are also accused in the case.
Activists accuse Shafiq of escaping the trial and demand his arrest and return, while his supporters believe that he did not flee justice.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm