[JURIST] Egypt’s former Agriculture Minister [official website] was detained Monday after an investigation headed by the country’s prosecutor revealed that the minister and others received bribes amounting to over USD $1 million. The detention of former minister Salah el-Din Helal came after he resigned at the request of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi [BBC profile]. Helal allegedly took bribes [Al Jazeera report] from businessmen to allow them to illegally purchase and acquire land within the nation. Egyptian prosecutors plan continue investigating all corruption linked to Helal’s role as agriculture minister while he remains detained.
Corruption remains a problem in Egyptian politics. In July an Egyptian court sentenced former prime minister Ahmed Nazif [BBC backgrounder] to five years in prison [JURIST report] during a retrial graft charges. Nazif served during the presidency of Hosni Mubarak [BBC profile] until the start of the Egyptian Uprising [Al Jazeera timeline] in 2011, and was convicted of using his position to make illicit gains in excess of 64 million Egyptian pounds, or approximately USD $8.2 million. In February the Cairo Criminal Court acquitted [JURIST report] Nazif and former minister of interior Habib el-Adly of all charges against them. Both defendants were charged with “squandering public funds and profiteering” after allegedly making an illegal deal with German Company UTSCH to sell license plates for higher than market value. In June of last year an Egyptian court acquitted [JURIST report] el-Adly of charges that he ordered police officials to find prospective top-paying buyers for land he personally owned. In February 2013 a court upheld [JURIST report] a three-year sentence for el-Adly for taking advantage of his political position and forcing police recruits to work on his private property. In February 2012 prosecutors argued [JURIST report] that el-Adly be put to death along with Mubarak for the 2011 protester killings.