New corruption evidence to keep Fathi Sorour in jail

Ahram Online, Thursday 11 Oct 2012

Key Mubarak-era official Fathi Sorour to remain in prison despite being acquitted of involvement in Battle of the Camel after new corruption evidence emerges

Fathi Sorour (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Former parliamentary speaker Fathi Sorour, who was among 25 defendants acquitted on charges related to the Battle of the Camel on Wednesday, will remain in jail on other charges.

A judicial source at the Illicit Gains Authority has said new evidence has emerged about Sorour's fortune, which may have been obtained illegally.

It was reported earlier on Thursday that Sorour, who has been detained at Tora Prison with other Mubarak-era officials, had changed out of his prison uniform and was due to be released.

Judge Safwat Towra, the head of the Investigations Authority, had ordered Sorour's release in May 2011 on LE200,000 bail while the corruption investigation continued. However, Sorour remained in prison due to charges relating to his alleged role in the Battle of the Camel.

The source added that most of the other defendants in the 'Camel' case would also remain in custody on other charges.

Safwat El-Sherif, former secretary-general of the now-defunct National Democratic Party (NDP), will remain in prison because he is still being tried for corruption. He is accused of illegally obtaining some LE300 million (roughly $49.2 million) during his long Mubarak-era political career. El-Sherif's two sons, Ashraf and Ihab, face similar charges.

The Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday acquitted all 25 defendants of involvement in the Battle of the Camel during the Egyptian Revolution.

The battle left 11 dead and over 600 injured in Tahrir Square on 2 February 2011. It was allegedly orchestrated by members of the Mubarak regime in an attempt to end the mushrooming uprising against its rule. However, it gave the revolution momentum to bring a swift end to Mubarak’s 30-year rule less than two weeks later.

Prosecutors began arresting suspects believed to have orchestrated the battle shortly after Mubarak's ouster on 11 February 2011. Around 25 figures associated with the former ruling NDP were arrested, including Safwat El-Sherif, Fathi Sorour, former minister of manpower Aisha Abdel-Hadi and former MP and businessman Mohamed Abul-Anin.

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