Egypt’s former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, is on a government blacklist for alleged funds corruption.
Judicial sources said that Shafiq is under investigation for an allegedly illegal sale of state land to Alaa and Gamal Mubarak during the eight years he spent as Minister of Civil Aviation.
He left Egypt and traveled to the United Arab Emirates shortly after his winning rival in the presidential race, Mohammed Morsi, was declared president in June's election.
Earlier, Shafiq's campaign manager told "Al-Masry al-Youm" newspaper that Shafiq left for a short stay, and would return after making a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. He then plans to launch a new political party, clarified the same source.
Another source said it was unclear what would happen to Shafiq if he returned. In the past, people who were placed on the watchlist have been detained on arrival.
Reuters quoted one of Shafik's supporters, Ahmed Abdel Ghanias, as saying the Muslim Brotherhood was behind the moves against Shafiq.
"I warn them not to touch Gen. Shafiq when he comes back or else civil war will break out," he said.
However, several members of Mubarak regime, including Mubarak himself, have been convicted of corruption while others escaped and are currently staying in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as refugees since the downfall of the former president.
In related news, a military source said that Egypt's army and police forces have successfully arrested 23 militants, killing 11 and injuring one in extensive security operations to end terrorist activities in the Sinai Peninsula. This happened after at least 16 Egyptian police officers were killed and others wounded in armed attack on a police station in north Sinai on the border between Egypt and Israel.
Egypt's army and police were also able to confiscate 11 loaded carriages carrying arms including machine guns and bombs, the source added.
Moreover, the Middle East News Agency reported that Morsi arrived Thursday in Tehran to attend the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned countries.
This visit expected to last few hours in the Iranian capital. The visit will be devoted entirely to the summit of non-aligned movement, according to Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali. "No other issue is expected," he said, dismissing suggestions that the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries is on the agenda.
In contrary to what was expected, Egypt is patient in dealing with Iran, and I thought that despite the scheduled summit in Tehran, the Egyptian president would not visit Tehran, at least not at the beginning of his presidency period.
Concerning Shafiq, he denied, during the election period, to be involved in financial corruption. According to the Egyptian press, Shafiq was a clean man during Mubarak's rule and that his name was never involved in any corruption.
Many Egyptians believe accusing Shafiq at this time is a reaction by the Muslim Brotherhood. In other words, Shafiq is paying for his statement which says: " Egypt will return to middle ages under Muslim Brotherhood rule."
I do not think that Shafiq will return, in the near future, to Egypt. In particular, that no clarity so far in the president's strategy regarding the subject of national reconciliation. Furthermore, there is anger in Egypt as there is not even slow developement in the Egyptian economy, which is suffering from successive crises.