Court imprisons senior State Council official for lifetime over corruption charges

Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday convicted a senior official from the State Council, deposed him from his post, sentenced him to 25 years in prison and fined him LE2 million on corruption charges.

The court acquitted four other defendants in the case. Three defendants reported incidents of bribery to the authorities and hence were exempted from punishment as stipulated by article 107 of the Penal Code. The fourth was acquitted as he died during the course of prosecution.

The main defendant in the case is the State Council’s Purchasing Manager Gamal al-Labban who was arrested in December for receiving bribes worth an estimated LE150 million. They found the sum of money at his house.

During the house search, officers from the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) seized LE24 million, US$4 million, €2 million euros, and one million Saudi Riyal, in addition to gold jewelry.

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Labban to 25 years in prison, and acquitted Medhat Abdel Sabour, the head of a private company for furniture, and his wife Rabab Abdel Khaleq, who paid the bribe. The fourth defendant, the Secretary General of the State Council at the time, Wael Shalaby, was alleged to have committed suicide in detention before being referred to trial.

The prosecutors office referred the defendants to trial in February. Labban was charged in 2016 with receiving gifts, money and benefits as a bribe in exchange for the breach of duties of his job and forgery of official records.

Labban and Shalaby requested LE800,000 as a bribe from Sabour, the owner of al-Kholod Company for Office Furniture. Sabour’s wife, Rabab Abdel Khaleq, paid the bribe worth LE732,000.

A statement from the prosecutors office also stated that Labban asked for a sexual bribe in return for the Kholod Company to win the tender for the supply of office furniture to the State Council — in addition to conducting a fictitious tender and not buying supplies and then taking over the funds allocated to it.

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