A travel ban was imposed Wednesday on former chairman of state-owned Al-Ahram Institution Mamdouh El-Wali and businessman Ihab Talaat for alleged financial corruption.
Talaat is being investigated for owing Al-Ahram millions of Egyptian pounds while Wali – who chaired Al-Ahram from September 2012 to July 2013 – is being investigated by a judicial committee for signing a settlement with Talaat worth only half the value owed the institution by the businessman.
Talaat, who has been on the run since 2006, arrived on Monday from London to Cairo International Airport where, believing his dispute with Al-Ahram resolved thanks to the settlement, he willingly surrendered to authorities. However, newly arisen evidence prompted the authorities to ban him from travelling and open an investigation in the matter.
According to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website, the settlement between Talaat and Wali was worth 61 Million Egyptian pounds, while new evidence revealed that the former in fact owed Al-Ahram LE120 million.
Al-Ahram's former director of legal affairs Abdel-Hamid Fouda was also banned from travelling and faces the same charges.
Investigations were initially sparked by a complaint filed by the Administrative Control Authority, the Central Auditing Agency as well as some Al-Ahram journalists.
Last week, a travel ban was imposed on a number of Al-Ahram Institution former employees by a judge investigating charges of corruption inside the organisation.
They include: Mubarak-era chief editors of Al-Ahram daily newspaper Ibrahim Nafie and Abdel-Moneim El-Said, Nafie's sons Ahmed and Omar, former chairman of Al-Ahram Institution Morsi Atallah, former Al-Ahram Advertising Agency head Hassan Hamdi and its former senior employee Hoda Awadallah, as well as former Al-Ahram director of publications Mohamed Mohamadein.
Founded in 1875, Al-Ahram is one of Egypt's oldest newspapers. It has grown over the years to release a large number of other publications, is endowed with its own advertising agency and a printing press which issues most of the nation's private and public newspapers and publications.