Egypt's prosecution bans expelled MP Okasha from travel over 'forged PhD'

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 13 Mar 2016

Okasha has long presented himself to the public as a doctor of mass communications who earned his degree from an American university

Tawfiq Okasha
Tawfiq Okasha (Reuters)

Egypt's Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek decided on Saturday to ban former MP Tawfik Okasha from travelling pending investigations over allegations that the controversial TV host forged his doctoral degree.

The certificate was among a number of documents submitted by Okasha to the country's High Electoral Committee (HEC) as part of his parliamentary candidacy application. 

In a report forwarded to the prosecution, the police's public funds department said that its own investigations concluded Okasha did not obtain a doctoral degree.

Okasha presented himself to the public for years as a doctor of mass communications who earned his degree from "Lakewood Bradenton International University" in Florida.

On Saturday, Egypt's HEC opened the registration period for candidates planning to stand in the by-election for the empty parliamentary seat of Okasha, who was expelled from the house for a controversial meeting with Israel's ambassador to Egypt.

The HEC says the by-election will be held in April.

Okasha represented the Talkha and Nabaruh districts in the Nile Delta governorate of Dakhaliya.

The Egyptian parliament expelled the high-profile TV anchor, with a majority of 465 votes out of a total of 596 members.

A report by a parliamentary investigative ‎committee accused Okasha of violating the ‎principle of the separation of powers and disrupting ‎Egypt's deep-rooted parliamentary rules and ‎precedents by taking the unilateral decision to meet privately with the Israeli ambassador.‎

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