Egyptian authorities ordered the arrest of ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq on Tuesday on suspicion of corruption, judicial sources said.
Shafiq, who has been living abroad in the United Arab Emirates since narrowly losing the first post-Mubarak elections to Islamist incumbent Mohammed Mursi in June, has been barred from travel using his Egyptian passport since last month.
He faces corruption charges in a case connected to that of Mubarak’s long untouchable sons Alaa and Gamal.
A former air force chief and civil aviation minister, Shafiq was named premier in the last days of Mubarak’s presidency before the veteran strongman’s overthrow in February last year.
He won 48.3 percent of the vote in a second-round presidential election runoff against Mursi in June.
In an interview with Al Arabiya early September, Shafiq dismissed accusations he has fled corruption charges and implied allegations against him were politically motivated.
When Shafiq traveled to the United Arab Emirates after losing the presidential race to Mursi in June, his spokesman said at the time that he would come back to Egypt and form a political party.
Implying the allegations were politically motivated, he said: “The tirade of accusations to a presidential candidate after he loses an election is due to the power of one party going after the suspect.”
During his interview, the Al Arabiya host asked him to respond to a clip by Isam Sultan, vice president of Al-Wasat moderate Islamist party, saying: “If Shafiq was a man, he would have returned back to Egypt, but he knows that he is embroiled, involved in these cases, and like other Mubarak men, he is escaping.”
In response, Shafiq said: “Why should I care for the charges... I know for sure if I did anything wrong.”
Shafiq said he would return when the situation was “suitable” for him.