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Egypt Orders Arrest of Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik

Egypt ordered the arrest of former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who was a presidential candidate, and referred him to criminal court, the Justice Ministry said.

Judge Osama el-Saiedy referred Shafik, along with Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, the two sons of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and three former officials at the Aviation Ministry to the criminal court on charges of profiteering, facilitating the seizure of public funds and forging official documents to expedite the sale of land in Ismailia governorate, the Justice Ministry said today in a faxed statement from Cairo.

President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood had cast Shafik, who was Mubarak’s last prime minister, as a candidate aiming to revive the ousted leader’s government. Shafik lost to Mursi after a race that polarized Egyptians.

General Prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud asked Interpol to arrest Shafik, his office said in a faxed statement today. Shafik, a career air force officer and former civil aviation minister, is now in the United Arab Emirates.

He was among several officials, including Mubarak, named in lawsuits alleging land usurpation that benefited an air force pilots’ association, Mahmoud’s office said on June 26. Youssef Wali, a former agriculture minister, was also named in the claims referred to the judge, the prosecutor said.

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