Egypt prosecutor orders investigation into alleged presidential election fraud

[JURIST] Egyptian Prosecutor-General Abdel Maguid Mahmoud on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations of forgery during the recent presidential elections. The order came after former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq alleged [WP report] that ballots were forged and votes were bought by current president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Shafiq added that previous investigations into the allegations were stopped without justification by the presidential election commission. Shafiq, who left for the United Arab Emirates right after his loss in the elections, has faced corruption charges [JURIST report] of having misused public funds while in office as minister of civil aviation during the 30-year regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. Shafiq has argued that the charges against him are politically motivated. He has also noted that he will remain politically active and return to Egypt soon. The call for the investigation came after Egyptian authorities seized Shafiq's assets as part of his corruption investigation.

Shafiq is one of the many former politicians under Mubarak's regime who are facing corruption charges. In August the former secretary for Mubarak's political party, Safwat El-Sherif, was referred to a criminal court [JURIST report] on corruption charges. He was accused of having abused his office by obtaining real estate at discounted prices and illegally obtaining $49.2 million. In July an Egyptian court rejected pleas to release [JURIST report] Mubarak's two sons while they await trial. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, along with seven others, were charged [JURIST report] with stock market fraud and using unfair trading practices and illegally manipulating the market. Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life [JURIST report] after an Egyptian court found him guilty of complicity to kill protesters during the Arab Spring protests [JURIST backgrounder]. During the protests that resulted in the overturning of Mubarak's 30-year regime, Mubarak ordered government officials to use gunfire and other violent measures to subdue protesters, causing more than 850 deaths [JURIST report]. Mubarak's trial ended in February with the chief prosecutor asking the court in his closing remarks to issue a death sentence [JURIST reports] against the former ruler.

 

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