Court sets 25 November for Safwat al-Sherif trial

The trial of former Shura Council Speaker Safwat al-Sherif and his two sons is set to begin on 25 November before the Cairo Criminal Court. The three are accused of abusing their power for financial gain.  

The Illicit Gains Authority referred the defendants to a criminal court on 29 August and demanded that they refund LE300 million of stolen funds and pay another LE300 million in fines. It has also requested that Interpol arrest Sherif’s fugitive son, Ashraf.

Investigations indicated that Sherif abused his power to buy agricultural land, villas and apartments from the government for low prices. Sherif has held the posts of head of the State Information Service, head of the Radio and Television Authority, Minister of Information, and finally Shura Council Speaker. He also owns land on which he built luxurious villas allegedly with the help of the former governor of Ismailia, Abdel Moneim Emara, the titles of which are in his wife’s name.

Prosecutors have also accused Sherif of receiving gifts worth LE3 million from the chairs of state-owned newspapers to keep them in their jobs.

Investigations indicate that Sherif’s son Ashraf owns plots of land, real estate and corporate stocks that do not match his legal income, and that both sons abused their father's influence to gain advantages within state TV and press organizations, including advertising discounts and setting the screening schedule for commercials.

Sherif, one of the linchpins of the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, served as the National Democratic Party’s general secretary from 2002 until his removal during the 25 January revolution.

Sherif, along with another 23 former regime figures, is also standing trial before the Cairo Criminal Court on charges of orchestrating a bloody attack by horse and camel riders against pro-democracy protesters in Tahrir Square on 2-3 February, known as the “Battle of the Camel.”

Edited translation from MENA

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