CAIRO — The Egyptian government on Sunday froze the financial assets of former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik and his three daughters as authorities move to try the retired general over his alleged business dealings with the sons of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.
Shafik, who was Mubarak's last prime minister, is wanted for graft and is expected to face trial on Dec. 2. Immediately after losing the presidential race to Mohamed Morsi in June, Shafik left Egypt for the United Arab Emirates. He has not returned home and authorities have announced he may be tried in absentia.
Last month, Egyptian authorities called for Shafik’s arrest in a case involving Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa, and four retired generals. The charges center on Shafik's role as chairman in the state’s housing association in the 1990s, when he allegedly sold publicly owned lands below market value to Mubarak's sons. Judge Osama Alsaeedy referred Shafik to criminal court on charges of squandering public funds.
Shafik, a staunch Mubarak ally who failed to calm the uprising that brought down the regime last year, has also been ordered to face trial on charges along with 10 other former officials who were accused of corruption in Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation. The government did not disclose the amount of Shafik’s assets that have been frozen.
The former pilot and aviation minister spoke from Dubai in September on a television interview to deny the accusations. He said the charges were "politically motivated" and that he would not return to Egypt until investigations were completed and his innocence was proven.
— Reem Abdellatif
Photo: Then-presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik speaks to the media during a news conference at his office in Cairo on May 26. Credit: Khalil Hamra, file / Associated Press.