CAIRO -- Former Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik and 10 other ex-officials were ordered Sunday to face trial on corruption charges.
The defendants were accused of profiteering from public funds and corruption within the Ministry of Civil Aviation, according to Egypt’s state-run news agency.
The case, which was referred to trial by Judge Hisham Rauof, involves accusations that the officials exploited their positions of authority to allocate lands owned by the government to private companies without calling for public tenders as Egyptian law requires.
Earlier this month, Egyptian authorities placed Shafik, who is believed to be in the United Arab Emirates, on a watch list over another criminal case accusing him of selling land owned by the government well below its market value to Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
Shafik, who was the elder Mubarak's last prime minister and close friend, left Egypt after losing the presidential election to Mohamed Morsi in June. He was a controversial candidate for many Egyptians, who accused him of seeking to continue Mubarak’s regime.
From abroad, Shafik has recently promised he would help establish a political party as an alternative for Egyptians who oppose the rule of Islamists such as Morsi. Shafik's supporters have defended his decision to leave Egypt, while activists and revolutionaries accuse him of fleeing in the face of corruption charges.
Photo: Former Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik is shown speaking with the media in a file photo from May 26. Credit: Khalil Hamra / Associated Press.