Three ex-ministers among four held in Egypt

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Cairo : The Egyptian authority has detained three former ministers and a top leader of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) for misusing public money, state-run MENA news agency reported.

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Habib el-Adly, who was the interior minister during Mubarak’s regime, the former housing minister Ahmed el-Maghrabi, the ex-tourism minister Zuheir Garana, and steel magnate Ahmed Ezz, a former senior NDP member, will spend 15 days in custody until the investigation is completed, the news agency said, quoting a judicial source.

The four detainees have denied any wrongdoing, the Al Arabiya TV channel said.

Prosecutors filed charges against Maghrabi, Garana and former trade and industry minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid last Thursday, a day before Mubarak stepped down following 18 days of mass unrest.

The country’s military council has also announced a travel ban on 43 members from the current and former government, Al Arabiya said.

At least 300 people were killed and some 5,000 injured in the anti-government protests in Egypt that put an end to Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

The military council, which took power in the country as Mubarak resigned, has dissolved the parliament and pledged to hold elections in September.