Acting assistant to the Prosecutor-General ordered the detention of former agriculture minister Salah Helal, his assistant, and two others pending investigations on charges of corruption. Helal had submitted his resignation earlier on Monday and he was arrested shortly after.
The case was opened last week when the deputy minister was arrested on bribery accusations and prosecution authorities enforced a media gag on the case. Helal had denounced the matter, saying he had no knowledge on the matter and that his assistant did not inform him of allocating lands to any persons.
On Monday, the prosecution released a statement detailing the amount of money ministerial officials received as “presents” in exchange for a personal favour for a businessman. The favour pertained to issuing official documents concerning an agricultural land of 2,500 acres in Wadi El-Natrun.
Bribes received include a house worth EGP 8.25m in a residential compound in 6th of October City, expensive clothes at the cost of EGP 230,000, and travel expenses for 16 family members of the suspects to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at a cost of nearly EGP 145,000 (SR 70,000) per person.
The prosecution further revealed a total of EGP 140,000 as the price of a membership at the sporting club of Al-Ahly for one of the defendants, another wasted EGP 14,500 for an ‘Iftar ceremony in a hotel’, and EGP 11,000 for two mobile phones.
Prosecution authorities said a ‘media gag’ on the case was still enforced with the exception of official statements issued by the authority itself.