Wednesday 03 August 2011
Former farm minister arrested
A former Egyptian agriculture minister has been detained for questioning after he was accused of allowing cancer-causing pesticides into the country during his tenure. The state-run MENA news agency reported on Sunday that Youssef Wali, the country’s agriculture minister from 1982 to 2004, is also being investigated for corruption.
He is accused of squandering some $33.6 million of state funds by selling public land to businessman Hussein Salem for less than market value.
MENA said Wali is accused of “bringing in 37 brands of pesticides that were proven to cause cancer.”
The report added that the chemicals had been banned from entering the country in 1996, but were allowed entry in 1998 under Wali until 2004.
Wali has denied the charges.
Prosecutors have been investigating business transactions of officials under Mubarak since mass protests forced him to resign on Feb. 11.
A prosecutor froze Wali’s assets in April in connection with the sale of 100,000 feddans (420 million square metres) of land to Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a deal which Egyptian authorities suspected had also violated the law.
Salem, a close aide to Mubarak, was arrested in Spain last month on an international warrant, suspected of squandering public funds by selling gas to Israel below market prices.
Source: newsroom - farmingnewsdaily.co.uk
Back to News Headlines