Jerusalem – The Middle East Newsline has confirmed Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has been linked to several scandals. The 44-year-old Gamal, a leading figure in Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party, has seen several of his associates, many of them former parliamentarians, charged with corruption and murder.
“These scandals have played into the hands of the old guard in the ruling party,” Mr. Diaa Rashwan, a leading Egyptian analyst, said. “After all, Gamal Mubarak is widely seen as the one who has ushered businessmen into the top ranks of the party.”â€¨
Several business associates of Gamal Mubarak have been dragged into the spotlight by murder and corruption charges. One of them, Hesham Talaat Mustafa, a leading property developer and NDP member, has been on trial on charges of inciting the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Mustafa’s trial resumes on Saturday.
Other business associates of Mr. Mubarak included former parliamentarian Mamdouh Ismail, the owner of a ferry that sank, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people. Mr. Ismail was cleared of a charge of negligence and relocated to Britain. The sentence has come under appeal.â€¨
Ahmed Ezz, a senior NDP figure, has been accused of forming a monopoly in the steel industry in Egypt. Mr. Ezz was also said to have been brought into the ruling party by Gamal Mubarak.â€¨
The scandals resulted in the re-emergence of the old guard at NDP. At the NDP conference in late October, Gamal Mubarak’s associates maintained a low profile. Gamal Mubarak, regarded as the No. 2 figure in NDP, has been seen as successor to his 80-year-old father. Egypt’s state-owned media has portrayed Gamal Mubarak as a political and economic reformer. For his part, Gamal Mubarak has refused to discuss his plans.â€¨
“Is there a country or a party that decides on its candidate for elections three years before they take place?” Gamal Mubarak asked.â€¨
Egyptian sources said the scandals around Gamal Mubarak, as well as the economic crisis in Egypt, could delay the reported retirement plans of the senior Mr. Mubarak. They said Hosni Mubarak, whose term ends in 2011, has been allocating unprecedented amounts of money into internal security amid the threat fromâ€¨al-Qaida-aligned elements.â€¨
“Article No 77 in the Egyptian constitution allows the president,â€¨ whether good or bad, to keep his post for life,” Egyptian analyst Suleimanâ€¨ Juda said.â€¨