Egypt pursues more ex-Mubarak officials
By Kathy Lally,
CAIRO — Egypt’s military rulers pressed their pursuit of former government leaders Thursday, ordering the arrest of the previous minister of mass media and the chairman of state television and radio as part of a corruption investigation.
The former information minister, Anas el-Fekki, a close associate of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal, was ordered held for 15 days, according to Egyptian media reports. The broadcasting executive, Osama el-Sheikh, fell under the same order.
The general prosecutor accused el-Fekki of misappropriating more than $300,000 that was supposed to be used for the Cairo International Film Festival and el-Sheikh of misusing funds in connection with a television series.
Egyptian newspapers also published photos Thursday of three senior Mubarak-era officials arriving in court in white jumpsuits the day before for a corruption hearing.
The three, former housing minister Ahmed Maghrabi, former tourism minister Zuhair Garana and steel magnate Ahmed Ezz , sat in a metal cage during the proceedings. On Thursday, the Maghrabi and Ezz cases were referred to trial, along with that of Rashid Mohammed Rashid, once a trade minister.
While Cairo has been slowly regaining a sense of normalcy since the 18-day revolution that toppled Mubarak, grievances have been festering. On Thursday, ill feeling toward policemen contributed to a violent incident in the city’s well-off Maadi section.
Witnesses said the policeman got into an argument with a minibus driver, perhaps over the right of way, and as their disagreement escalated into a fight, a crowd formed, speaking angrily about the police. Shots were fired, the witnesses said, hitting the minibus driver in the shoulder.
It was unclear Thursday night who fired the shots, but the incident turned into a melee, with the crowd attacking the policeman, beating him, throwing his hat into the air and bashing his windshield in after ripping off the car’s grille.
Eventually, military police waded into the thicket of stopped cars, rescued the policeman, took both him and the minibus driver to the hospital and got traffic moving. Members of the crowd then set the policeman’s car on fire.
The policeman was reportedly treated and released but the other man was in critical condition, authorities said.