The recent Agriculture Ministry corruption case under investigations does not include other officials from the cabinet with the exception of Salah Helal, who resigned from his position as minister and was arrested three days ago, the cabinet said in a press statement on Thursday.
According to the Administrative Prosecution in charge of investigations, charges include several financial bribes. Four defendants were announced in the case: the former Agriculture minister, his deputy, a businessman and a mediator.
Due to a media gag enforced in the case since the arrest of the deputy minister, journalists have not been able to extract further information, leaving space for unconfirmed news reports to circulate regarding the possible involvement of ministers and public figures in the case.
One of those “rumours” according to the cabinet, was news about a travel ban on the Minister of Religious Endowments, preventing him from being part of the Hajj pilgrimage delegation. The unconfirmed report, which was denied by the cabinet and the ministry, said the minister could be a “suspect” in the case.
The prosecution had released numbers on the bribes pertaining to the case, including a house worth over EGP 8m given as a “present”. The suspects are believed to have attempted to legalise 2,500 acres of land owned by the suspect businessman in the case.