Egyptian authorities have arrested a high-profile judge on charges of corruption as they are pushing for an unprecedented investigation into bribery case at the country’s Council of State, which functions as a supreme administrative court.
Judicial sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the council’s Secretary General Wael Shalaby was detained early on Sunday, and taken into police custody for interrogation.
His arrest came a day after the administrative board of the Council of State unanimously accepted Shalaby’s resignation in the wake of a bribery case.
The council has pledged in a statement to investigate all procurement contracts reached over the past five years to verify their legal authenticity. It also stressed that the administrative court will not compromise over any case of corruption.
On December 27, 2015, the Administrative Control Authority, which serves as Egypt’s anti-corruption watchdog, ordered the arrest of the council’s chief procurement officer, Gamal el-Labban, along with two other businessmen and charged them with bribery. It initially ordered the trio’s detention for four days, pending state security investigations.
The Qasr el-Nil Misdemeanour’s Court in Cairo, however, decided on Thursday to remand the three defendants in custody for 15 days. They are reportedly accused of receiving bribes in the form of large sums of money and gold.
Labban was detained on December 27 last year after a huge amount of cash was found at his home. He reportedly had 24 million Egyptian pounds ($1.3 million), $4 million, two million euros and one million Saudi rials besides pieces of jewelry, cars and real estate documents.
An unnamed prosecution official said on Sunday that Shalaby faces implication because the procurement department at the Council of State cannot finalize deals unless he underwrites the paperwork.