Inquiry into Mubarak, former aid reveals national security concerns with Africa
Zakareya Azmy during his trial - YOUM7

CAIRO: Details surrounding investigations into an old corruption case that dates back to March 2012 were revealed by Youm7 on Thursday, which regards a case that was labeled as “classified information/national security”.

The case revolves around the illegal seizure of $4 million from public funds to be given to African leaders from Nile basin countries during the region’s water crisis. The corruption case involves former president Hosni Mubarak and his chief of staff Zakareya Azmy, Youm7 reported Thursday.

According to Azmy’s statements during the investigations, he was an intermediary between Mubarak and former Central Bank president Farouk Okda. Back in November 2009, Azmy was ordered to deliver $4 million to the president.

The money was cashed on separate occasions without any release documents, official or unofficial. Thus, the case was handled by the Public Funds Crimes Investigations department at the Ministry of Interior, which reopened investigations into the case four weeks ago.

After transferring the money in “suitcases”, Azmy said Mubarak ordered their distribution to four African leaders as following: one in Cairo, one in Sharm el-Sheikh, one abroad, and one suitcase was given to former Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, to spend it on “national security issues,” Azmy told investigators.

More details regarding the investigation have yet to be disclosed due to the content, which is related to the country’s national security, Azmy claimed during investigations. Azmy said some of the details regarding the transactions that took place he is not aware of, mostly because he was following orders. In addition, Youm7 declined to reveal the names of the African leaders involved for reasons concerning national security.

Public Funds Crimes Investigators wanted Azmy to prove that the money was indeed spent on matters concerning national security. However, when asked, the Intelligence Services denied knowing anything about the situation, reported Youm7.

Azmy was on trial, along with Mubarak, Mubarak’s sons, and other officials, for embezzlement and taking advantage of his position to illegally seize public funds. As authorities dug further into his case, Azmy was been called into question once more last March, after having been previously released.

Azmy had been convicted of embezzling 42,598,000 EGP and was sentence by the Criminal Court to seven years in prison and a fine of 36,367,00 EGP, but the verdict was appealed and Azmy was released under Mohamed Morsi’s rule in February 2013, according to MENA.

Nonetheless, the Court of Misdemeanors decided to revive the trial before a new set of judges, and the new court session is set for April 27, MENA further reported.

The Public Funds Crimes Prosecution had also released Azmy, after long investigations into the case of him receiving nearly two million EGP from the newspaper institutions Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar, Al-Arabiya reported.

Additional reporting by Mahmoud Saad el-Din.

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