No accusations against Egypt's outgoing PM in 'presidential palaces' case: Court Head
Ahram Online, Sunday 13 Sep 2015
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi accepted Saturday the resignation of the cabinet of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab


Mostafa Huseini,the head of Alexandria's Appeal Court,said Sunday that outgoing Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab is mentioned by name in the well known trial known as the "presidential palaces case," though no charges have been directed against him by the court.

Huseini's account comes a day after Mahlab submitted the resignations of him and his cabinet to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Mahlab, who submitted his resignation after returning from a trip to Tunisia, was asked by a local journalist in Tunisia if he isimplicated in the legal case.Mahlab refused to answer the question posed by the journalist and left the conference hall abruptly—a reaction that was widely criticised in the media.

The"presidential palaces case"dates back to May 2014, when former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamalwere originally convicted of embezzling LE125 million allocated for the upkeep of presidential palaces in order to develop their own private buildings.

Huseini told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that Mahlab's name came up in investigations reported by regulatory authorities, as he was in charge of Arab Contractors Company, which was constructing the presidential palaces.

However, despite his position at the time, Mahlab was not accused of being involved directly or indirectly in any corruption concerning the presidential palaces.

However, the court head stressed that the former premier was not questioned in the case.

Some officials in Arab Contractors Company have been charged with graft and embezzlement in the case.

Mahlab was chairman of Arabs Contractors Company from 2001 until 2012. The general prosecution charged Mubarak and his two sons with graft and embezzlement covering the period 2002 to 2011.

Cairo Criminal Court upheld a three-year sentence against Mubarak in the case in May.The court also reduced the sentence on his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, to three years—down from four—in the same case.

Outgoing PM Mahlab appeared on Sunday alongside newly appointed Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and El-Sisi attending a meeting with a group of university students. El-Sisi said he respects the outgoing premier's efforts, adding that he would "still need him beside me."

The president reportedly ordered the cabinet to continue carrying out their responsibilities until a new cabinet is formed.

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