Al-Ahly chair held in Tora Prison over corruption accusation
The president of the Al-Ahly Club Hassan Hamdy - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Hassan Hamdy, chair of Al-Ahly Sporting Club and former CEO of Al-Ahram Advertising Agency arrived Tuesday at Tora Prison after investigating judge Tharwat Hamad decided to detain him for 15 days pending investigations, over accusations of corruption and financial fraud.

Security forces had arrested Hamdy on Sunday upon a decision from Judge Farag Hamad.

The Judicial Investigation Committee is investigating corruption and fraud in Al-Ahram newspaper, after receiving reports from the Administrative Control Authority, the Central Auditing Organization and journalists at Al-Ahram in September 2013. Several high-ranked figures in the government of former President Hosni Mubarak, ousted in February 2011, are accused of seizing funds from Al-Ahram together with former managers of the institution.

The financial violations total an estimated 161 million EGP ($23 million,) according to a report published by Al-Ahram on Feb. 24. A large share of the stolen money has been returned, Al-Bawba news reported.

Among the accused are former board members Ibrahim Nafaa, Hassan Hamdy and Hala al-Boreey, and secretaries of the board of directors Nihal Farouk and Nadia Gatu. An arrest warrant was issued for Nafaa last Sunday, while Boreey, Farouk and Gatu were released after paying a fine a day earlier. Farouk had also presented documents that could be used as evidence in the case against Hamdy and Nafaa.

In February, the committee imposed travel bans on several other suspects, including Mamdouh El-Wali, Al-Ahram chair from September 2012 to July 2013, and businessmen Ihab Talaat. The latter made a deal with Wali following disputes, in which he pledged to pay 61 Million EGP. However, investigations showed that Talaat owed Al- Ahram about 120 million EGP, according to Al-Ahram news website.

Nonetheless, charges were dropped against Talaat on Feb. 26 after a settlement with Al-Ahram was reached, Al-Ahram news reported.

The state-run newspaper Al-Ahram is one of the largest newspapers in Egypt, founded in 1875.

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