Arrest of Egyptian Minister of Agriculture
Is it a declaration of war against corruption in Egypt
The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists follows up the news of the arrest of the Minister of Agriculture Salah El-Din Hilal, who was forced to resign today, on charges of corrupt acts and bribery over state-owned land.
It should be noted that the acts of corruption in the Ministry of Agriculture is being investigated for time ago with a ban of publication at the request of the Administrative Control Authority. The case is reported under no. 673 for the year 2015, the Supreme State Security Prosecution, and the defendants are: the current Minister of Agriculture Salah El-Din Hilal, the Director of the Minister Office Mohammed Saeed, Ayman Mohamed Refaat Abdo Jameel, a businessman, and Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamed Fouda.
The case embodies the request and recipient of the accused of in-kind stuff from the businessman for the legalization of procedures of acquiring 2500 acres land in the Wady El-Natroun district.
The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists praises the efforts of Administrative Control Authority in the investigation of corrupt acts at the Ministry of Agriculture and its request to refer the accused to the public prosecutor on the backdrop of the committed crimes of corruption and the seizure and facilitation of the seizure of public funds for personal benefits for themselves and their families. Also, the Arab Program hopes the oversight agencies to continue the prosecution of all aspects and manifestations of corruption and those responsible, whatever their positions.
Besides, the Arab Program demands to lift the publication ban in such crimes in order to achieve transparency, integrity and to inform the public opinion on the actions taken re
levant to corruption and corrupt so as to deter those who might tempted to steal the public property.
Moreover, the Arab program calls for the oversight agencies to publish periodically their
concerned reports on the prosecution of corruption and its perpetrators to the public opinion in order to inform citizens of these efforts and to encourage them to report on acts of corruption that may impair the integrity of the public service.
The Arab Program also demands the government and the political power to work promptly to enact legislations that will allow and encourage citizens to report corruption cases such as: the access to information and the protection of whistleblowers, experts, witnesses and their families.
And also to review some of the existing legislations, such as laws of procurement, investment, and conflict of interest s… and to work on the implementation and enforcement of the national anti-corruption strategic plan to be completed in December 2018.
Furthermore, the Arab Program hopes that the case of corruption in the Ministry of Agriculture is the initial step to prosecute corruption in all sectors of the Egyptian State.