An Egyptian prosecutor on Thursday ordered the detention of three ex-ministers and a prominent businessman pending trial on suspicion of wasting public funds.
The prosecutor dealing with financial crimes said former Interior Minister Habib el-Adli, former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana, former Housing Minister Ahmed el-Maghrabi and steel magnate Ahmed Ezz must be held for 15 days.
All four had been banned from travelling. They have denied any wrongdoing.
Suspicions of official graft helped fuel popular anger that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak last week. The charges are seen as a move by the army-led interim government to quell the unrest.
Prosecutors filed formal charges against Maghrabi, Garana and former trade and industry minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid as anti-government protests raged last Thursday, a day before Mubarak stepped down. Rachid has also denied misconduct.
Ezz is a senior leader in Mubarak's party and owner of Ezz Steel.
His company said in a statement last week that he strongly denied the accusations and the investigation was a personal matter that would not affect the company's operations.
Adli and ex-premier Ahmed Nazif were both sacked by Mubarak before he stepped down from the presidency.
The public prosecutor froze the accounts of Adli and his family members on accusations that over 4 million Egyptian pounds ($680,000) were transferred to his personal account by a head of a contractor company, state TV said on Saturday.
It said the general prosecutor also called on the foreign minister to contact European countries to freeze the accounts of Adli, Garana, Rachid, Maghrabi and Ezz.
ReutersLast Mod: 18 Şubat 2011, 16:33