Egypt Probes Former Ministers in Possible Bid to Break With Old Guard

State television reports authorities investigating former prime minister, interior minister, and information minister in wake of Mubarak expulsion.

Egyptian authorities said on Saturday they were investigating accusations against the former prime minister, interior minister and information minister, in an apparent attempt to show a break with the old guard.

cairo - AP - October 17 2010

Public scrutiny of officials and businessmen became an issue after Jan. 25 when tens of thousands of protesters first took to the streets seeking an end to the rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Since Mubarak's fall, demands have grown that government officials and some businessmen linked to his party be tried on charges of corruption.

Egypt's state television reported on Saturday that travel bans were imposed on ex-premier Ahmed Nazif and former interior minister Habib al-Adli, who were both sacked by Mubarak before he stepped down from the presidency on Friday.

A travel ban was also imposed on Information Minister Anas el-Fekky, who had been re-appointed in a cabinet that was hastily sworn in as a sop to protesters.

"In order to examine accusations, travel ban decisions were needed to be issued on the following: Habib el-Adly, former interior minister, Ahmed Nazif, former prime minister and Anas El-Fekky, information minister," state TV said quoting an unnamed judicial source.

It also added that "the public prosecutor issued a decision to freeze the accounts of Adli and his family members upon accusations that over 4 million Egyptian pounds were transferred to his personal account by a head of a contractor company."

State TV said the general prosecutor called on the foreign minister to contact European countries to freeze the accounts of Adli along with those of former tourism minister Zuhair Garana, former trade and industry minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, former tourism minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi and Ahmed Ezz, owner of Ezz Steel and senior leader in ruling party.

Last week, Egypt imposed a travel ban and started investigations on the three ex-ministers and Ezz and froze their assets. The officials were accused with wasting public money and using their posts for personal gain.