CAIRO: State prosecutors on Thursday blocked the sale of a ship by the owner of the shipping line whose ferry sank in the Red Sea two months ago with the loss of more than 1,000 lives.
Senior prosecutor Gaber Rayhan told reporters his office had stopped the sale by freezing the assets of Mamdouh Ismail and his family.
Ismail, a member of Egypt s upper house of parliament, fled the country recently after reports emerged of gross negligence in the operation of Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98, the ferry that sank Feb. 3 after a fire broke out during a voyage from Saudi Arabia to the Egyptian port of Safaga.
More than 1,000 of the 1,400 passengers and crew drowned. Many were Egyptian workers returning from Saudi Arabia.
Rayhan said Ismail s agents and lawyers were trying to sell a vessel of the Al-Salaam line, but the asset freeze had made such a sale illegal.
An investigation has found that the Panama-registered ferry had false documents for its firefighting equipment and life boats.
The upper house, the Shura Council, has stripped Ismail of his parliamentary immunity. AP