The last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak, Ahmed Shafiq, had his financial assets frozen by the Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) on Sunday after it was concluded that the increase in his wealth and that of his daughters during his tenure was inexplicable by legal means. A trial, where he will be tried in absentia unless he returns to Egypt, will begin on 2 December.
Shafiq reportedly denounced the notice of his asset freeze, telling state-run Al-Ahram newspaper there would be an “aggressive reaction” to the decision. He also called it “an impulsive reaction that only aims to hinder my political career.” Shafiq said he was investigated during the lead up to presidential elections “and no wrongdoing was found therein.”
Shafiq ran for president but left Egypt shortly after Mohamed Morsy was declared the winner of the election. Initially Shafiq claimed to be on Hajj, yet remained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), citing security reasons and conspiracies to marginalise him and his career. A warrant for his arrest was issued in September to face various charges.
In August, Shafiq was put on a watch list in the Cairo International Airport and is facing corruption charges. The current trial revolves around his involvement in the sale of 40,000 square metres of land, originally allocated for aviation officers, at below market prices to Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal. Egypt’s public prosecutor Mahmoud Abd El-Meguid asked Interpol to arrest Shafiq but there has yet to be any move made to extradite him. Egypt does not have an extradition treaty with the UAE.