Shafiq leaves country after corruption charges filed
Defeated presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq flew out of Egypt yesterday for a religious pilgrimage, aides said, a day after a prosecutor referred corruption lawsuits naming Mr Shafiq to an investigating judge.
The lawsuits allege that Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, was involved in crooked land deals and other corruption during his time as civil aviation minister between 2002 and 2011, a judicial source said.
Mr Shafiq is one of several Mubarak-era figures to face such accusations since the leader was ousted in a popular uprising last year. Some were jailed and Mubarak himself began a life sentence this month for his role in the killing of protesters.
The state news agency Mena said Mr Shafiq left Cairo airport on a United Arab Emirates airline early yesterday. Airport officials said he was not alone – two of his daughters and three grandsons flew with him.
“Ahmed Shafiq left today at dawn for Abu Dhabi and from there he will head to the holy lands of Saudi Arabia to perform the Omra [pilgrimage] before returning to his homeland Egypt,” his campaign team said on his official Facebook page.
Omar Suleiman, the former spy chief under Mubarak who was disqualified from this year’s presidential election, is also in Abu Dhabi, along with members of his family.
Mr Shafiq’s rival, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, was declared winner of a presidential run-off on Sunday. During his election campaign, the ex-military man brushed aside allegations that he was involved in corrupt dealings under Mubarak.
Mr Morsi said that anyone who had broken the law must be held to account.
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