Egypt former trade minister banned from traveling abroad: TV

10:33, February 05, 2011      

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Egypt's Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud banned the former Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid from traveling abroad on Friday, and his bank accounts were also frozen, according to state media.

The former minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid said that he is ready to face any accusation, according to Al Arabia TV.

In a knee-jerk response to the Friday decision, Rachid said he is ready to face any accusations and denied the decision was for political motives.

"I am astonished and shocked to hear this news. I was nominated to be trade minister for this government, but I rejected joining it," Rachid told Dubai-based al-Arabiya TV.

Mahmoud ordered the action as a "preventative measure" while he carries out an investigation into suspected misappropriation, official MENA news agency reported.

The announcement came one day after three former ministers of interior, housing, and tourism as well as the ruling National Democratic Party senior official Ahmad Ezz were ordered to stay in Egypt with their assets frozen.

Embattled President Hosni Mubarak reshuffled the government last week and changed nearly half of the ministers in the new cabinet.

Rachid became Egypt's minister of Foreign Trade and Industry in 2004, the first businessman ever to join the Egyptian cabinet. His ministry was expanded to include domestic trade two years later, and the ministry became known as the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Source: Xinhua
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