Giza prosecution services ordered the four-day detention of a former parliamentarian late Monday, pending an investigation into charges of embezzlement.
Hamdy al-Fakharany, who championed landmark legal actions against corruption under former president Hosni Mubarak’s regime, is accused of embezzling a businessman, as well as abuse of power.
Businessman Samuel Zaky had purchased a plot of land from the Nile Cotton Ginning Company after the government had already sold it to a private investor. Fakharany subsequently started a petition challenging the legality of the company's sale and the court ruled in favor of Fakharany. The sale was later annulled.
Fakharany was allegedly prepared to abandon the lawsuit he had initiated in return for LE5 million from Zaky, the businessman told the police. The former parliamentarian also purportedly said he would keep Zaky's case out of the media.
Fakharany was arrested in a flat in the district of Sheikh Zayed Monday, while allegedly receiving this bribe. He claims the arrest is entrapment.
The former parliamentarian was one of the lawyers involved in pursuing corruption allegations against Egypt’s natural gas deal with Israel.
His arrest comes ahead of parliamentary elections slated for October.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm