Egypt's prosecution for state funds opened investigations on Sunday into Mubarak-era aviation minister and presidential contender Ahmed Shafiq, who faces 35 charges of corruption and squandering public monies.
Eleven of the charges were filed by businessman Abdul-Hameed Amer, while another 24 were filed by aviation ministry employees.
The charges arrayed against Shafiq, most of which involve his management of the Cairo International Airport, include:
- Green-lighting construction work at the airport by real-estate magnates Magdy Rasekh and Mahmoud El-Gamal, the respective fathers-in-law of former presidential scions Alaa and Gamal Mubarak;
- Selling 4000 square metres of land to multinational company Mortal on which to build three airport hotels, without the company ever having had to bid for the project;
- Selling 300,000 square metres of land belonging to the aviation ministry to politically-connected businessmen Fahd El-Shobokshy and Wagdy Karara at fire-sale prices (LE1 per meter);
- Selling EgyptAir aircraft and substituting them with planes leased from other airlines in costly long-term lease-to-buy deals, ultimately racking up LE500 million in losses for Egypt's national carrier;
- Approving construction of a fourth runway and control tower at the Cairo airport – which critics say were largely unneeded – to the tune of LE1.25 billion;
- Spending LE2 million on construction of a commercial mall, feasibility studies for which were conducted by his close personal associates, that ultimately generated enormous losses;
- Purchasing furniture at a total cost of some LE22.6 million for a VIP lounge in the airport's Terminal 2 from a company – Gallery Mansour – owned by Mubarak-era transport minister Mohamed Mansour.
A former commander of the Egyptian Air Force, Shafiq also served as Mubarak's last prime minister during and after last year's Tahrir Square uprising. After being forced to step down as PM due to popular pressure on 3 March of last year, he re-entered the public arena in December 2011 when he announced his intention to run for the presidency.
Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections are slated to take place on 23 and 24 May.
Ahram Online here publishes a correction we received to the above story.
Dear Ahram English Portal,
Please, be informed that the above information is not correct as the Mansour Group doesn't have any company named " Gallery Mansour " and the group has nothing to do with any operation already done or is currently under construction at Cairo airport.