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Shafiq's embezzlement trial postponed

February 5, 2014 at 2:11 am

The Cairo Criminal Court has postponed the trial of Ahmed Shafiq, along with the trials of ten other defendants, to 20 November. Shafiq, the former prime minister who lost the 2012 presidential election to Mohamed Morsi, and the other defendants, all members of the board of directors of a cooperative association for the housing of pilots and their relatives, are accused of embezzling public money. According to a judicial source, the trial, held in the Fifth District area on the outskirts of Cairo, was postponed until the court could listen to the prosecution’s witnesses, as per the defence’s request.

The defendants, who are not in the court’s custody, all attended the session except for Shafiq, who remains outside the country. The court accused them of embezzlement, fraud, profiteering and damages amounting to 30 million Egyptian pounds of public money (equivalent to $4 million). They are also accused of money laundering around five million Egyptian pounds (around $700,000) through a land project allocated to civil pilots in the Egyptian Northern Coast.

Shafiq held the position of minister of Civil Aviation during Mubarak’s regime and was appointed as prime minister a few days before the Mubarak’s ouster in 2011. Shafiq returned to the spotlight when he ran for president, losing to Mohamed Morsi in June 2012.

Since the presidential election results were announced, Shafiq has been residing outside Egypt, moving primarily between the UAE and Britain.