Bribery Confessions Put Egypt’s Ex-Giza Governor on the Hot Seat
Confessions are pouring out in the bribery probe of Egypt’s former Giza governor Maher Al Gendi and his associates, according to press reports.
According to Al Ahram Arabic daily, one target of the government’s probe, Mohammed Foudah, revealed to the prosecutor general that his ties to Gendi went back to the latter’s days as governor of Al Gharbiyyah. Foudah said he had accompanied Gendi to see the 130-acre plot that another probe target, Amr Halika, wanted allocated to Al Ahram Company for Real Estate and Tourism Development.
Moreover, Foudah said he visited the former Giza governor in his office in 1997, along with Halika, and asked him to arrange for finalizing the transfer of the land to the latter.
Foudah added that he had repeated his visit to the governor, demanding the fulfillment of earlier promises, but was told that all the plots in that area faced problems.
Foudah said he was surprised when the governor asking for a bribe of 20,000 pounds, allegedly to solve some of the official’s financial hardships. Foudah responded that he would comply with all of Gendi’s requests provided that the land ownership was transferred.
For his part, Halika expressed his willingness to pay any sum in exchange for the land, and handed the governor a check for 20,000 pounds. Foudah added that the former governor continued asking for money until he received around 100,000 pounds.
According to Foudah, Halika eventually became suspicious that Foudah was keeping the bribe money for himself, and so accompanied him to the governor’s office to make sure that the money had reached the official.
Furthermore, a meeting was held at the governor’s office to reassure Halikah’s partners, including probe subjects Yasser Amin Houtah, Wael Amin Houtah, Abdellatif Anwar Abdellatif and Khaled Mohammed Abdel Aziz.
At this meeting, Foudah said, he had deliberately tried to boss the governor around, demanding that the official quickly finalize the deal, in order to prove to the partners that he had handed all the bribes over to the governor.
For his part, Halikah confirmed Foudah’s confessions.
The prosecutor general also heard testimony from Giza governorate employees, who said the governor’s actions regarding the land transfer had violated the law.
Furthermore, shop owners who used to sell Foudah gifts, including clothes and jewelry to be given to the governor, also testified in support of Foudah’s confessions. In addition, there was the evidence of several documents at Foudah’s residence; namely, complaints filed against Foudah which were stolen from the Illegal Profits Agency by an official there collaborating with the businessman – Albawaba.com