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Former minister faces trial over corruption charges - Daily News Egypt

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Former minister faces trial over corruption charges

Mohamed Allam is accused of aiding the sale of agricultural land for urban purposes

A Giza court began on Monday the trial of former minister of water resources and irrigation Mohamed Nasr El-Din Allam over charges of facilitating fraud.

The public funds prosecution has accused the former minister of collaborating with businessman and former member of parliament Ahmed Koura as the latter acquired lands that were designated for agricultural purposes at a cheap price.

Allam was released on a EGP 100,000 bail pending investigations in March. He refused to comment on the allegations made towards him when contacted by Daily News Egypt on Monday.

Allam’s case comes on top of a long list of corruption cases filed against prominent figures  of the Hosni Mubarak era since the 2011 uprising put an end to Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

Mubarak’s prime minister Ahmed Nazif, whom Allam served under, was charged with corruption charges which included wasting public funds and making personal profit during his time in office. In addition, Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal, steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz, and former minister of housing Ibrahim Seliman all face similar charges. However, all of the aforementioned individuals have found themselves acquitted of most of the charges made towards them and re-trialled for the rest.

Allam is also accused of wasting public funds estimated at EGP 37m.

Mubarak’s regime has become synonymous with accusations of corruption and squandering of public assets and is one of the main reasons the 25 January Revolution took place. In 2010, Egypt was ranked 98 out of 178 on Transparency International’s corruption perception index. In 2015, Egypt dropped 10 places in the index, which shows signs that it has taken more appropriate measures in combating corruption.

However, accusations of corruption are still being made five years after the uprising. Egypt’s former top auditor Hesham Geneina claimed that corruption has cost the country over $75bn since 2011. Following his accusation, pro-government media was quick to dismiss Geneina’s claims, branding him a traitor and a Muslim Brotherhood member before he was dismissed by presidential decree in March.

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