Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, the two sons of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, received hundreds of millions of dollars in "commissions" from the sale of Egyptian natural gas to Israel, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported yesterday.
Gamal initially demanded a 10% commission but eventually agreed to half of that, while his elder brother and businessman Hussein Salem settled for 2.5% each from the $2.5-billion deal signed in May 2005. Salem, considered to be very close to the Mubarak family, is the the largest shareholder in Eastern Mediterranean Gas, the Egyptian firm that supplied the gas to Israel. Mubarak's sons allegedly backed the controversial gas exports to Israel in return for the payments.
Al-Jarida said it obtained the documents from a special department at the Egyptian interior ministry that was looking into various activities of the family of the former president, who was toppled in a popular uprising last month. Al-Jarida published photocopies of the alleged documents. The paper said negotiations took place involving Israeli officials, former Egyptian oil minister Sameh Fahmi and Salem in January 2005.
The deal called for 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas to be sold annually over 15 years by EMG to the Israel Electric Corporation. In December 2010, four Israeli firms signed 20-year contracts, worth up to $10 billion, with EMG to import Egyptian gas. Gas exports began flowing in February 2008 after the pipeline to Israel was completed.
Egypt supplies about 40% of Israel's natural gas, which is used to produce about 20% of Israel's electricity.
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