File photo: The State Council building in Cairo (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)
A Cairo criminal court sentenced on Sunday a former procurement director at the State Council to 15 years in prison for illicit gains of over EGP 173 million ($10.4 million) in the period between 1997 and 2016.
Gamal Ibrahim El-Laban, the former head of the procurement department at the State Council, was arrested while receiving a bribe in December 2016.
Investigations by the Department of Inspection and Investigation, which looks into cases of illicit gains by public employees, showed that El-Laban had amassed illicit gains in his wealth not commensurate with his legal income and failed to account for the source of his wealth.
Upon searching El-Laban’s home following his arrest, investigators found him in possession of EGP 24 million, $4 million, 2 million euros and 1 million Saudi Riyals, in addition to gold accessories, real-estate bonds and cars.
He can still appeal Sunday's verdict.
According to Egypt's 2014 constitution, the State Council is "an independent judicial body that is exclusively competent to adjudicate in administrative disputes, disciplinary cases and appeals, and disputes pertaining to its decisions. It is also solely competent to issue opinions on the legal issues of bodies to be determined by law, review and draft bills and resolutions of a legislative character, and review draft contracts to which the state or any public entity is a party."
El-Laban worked at the State Council in an administrative, not judicial, capacity.
At the time of his arrest, the council stressed that it will not spare any efforts in combating corruption.
In recent years, Egypt has been cracking down on corruption within state institutions, as President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi implements policies to combat corruption in state bodies.