Alexandria’s former deputy governor sentenced to 12 years for bribery

Alexandria’s former deputy governor, Souad Al-Khouli, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribery by a court in Cairo on Wednesday.

An investigation launched in August 2017 had alleged Al-Khouli accepted numerous bribes while in office, taking money, gold jewelry, and other gifts worth more than 1 million Egyptian pounds ($56,484) in return for political favors. Her actions, it is thought, caused a loss of up to 10 million Egyptian pounds in public revenue.

Al-Khouli was removed from office following the investigation. She had previously garnered a reputation for enthusiasm for social justice, and her arrest shocked many in Alexandria, as her public image had been largely positive up to that point.

The Egyptian Administrative Control Authority (ACA), though, found that Al-Khouli had, among other bribes, taken 500,000 Egyptian pounds from the Alexandria Co. for General Contracting, as well as gold jewelry from a businessman in the district of Al-‘Ajami to green-light a local infrastructure development.

The uncovering of bribery scandals has become increasingly common under Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as his government has taken a hard line against institutional corruption. Local newspapers now report arrests made by the ACA on an almost daily basis, many of officials left over from the previous regime.

Hosni Mubarak, the former president ousted from office in 2011, went on trial alongside his sons Gamal and Alaa in April that year, accused of numerous counts of corruption, embezzlement, stock market manipulation and abuse of power, as well as the premeditated killing of Egyptian protestors. He was released from prison in March 2017.

Arab News | February 4, 2019