CAIRO: The Public Funds Prosecution released statements that conflict with its previous reports in the case of the 15 MPs from the People’s Assembly and Shoura Council accused of corruption and exploiting public funds to gain access to the health ministry’s free medical treatment program.
The Public Funds Prosecution stated that the ongoing investigations in the case known as the “Free Medical Treatment” case revealed that there are no links between the MPs mentioned in the investigation request, sent by opposition MP Mostafa Bakry, and the employees who issued the decrees for free medical treatment, as well as the heads of private hospitals where the treatment is to be held.
Furthermore, the investigations found that the employees did not receive any bribes or bonuses for issuing the free medical treatment decrees.
On the other hand, sources at the Central Auditing Agency confirmed news reports that they are not retracting the statements they made in the initial report sent to the Prosecutor General on the issue.
The Agency has not, however, given any of the names of the MPs mentioned in the report due to confidentiality.
Last week, the Public Funds Prosecution had stated that investigations have found that an unidentified MP from Qaliubeya, who is a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, had received dozens of decrees for compensatory medical equipment for patients. The prosecution found that the MP used the decrees to obtain 120 motorcycles for people with disabilities, which he later sold.
The Prosecution also found that another MP had received hundreds of free medical treatment allowances at a Cairo hospital, which he sold and then divided the profits among him and senior officials at the public hospital.
MPs are furious at the turn of events and are anxious to clear the names of the implicated MPs, especially those belonging to the ruling National Democratic Party, before the parliamentary elections this fall.
“There is no backing out now. Everything has been exposed and [is] out [in] the open. The government cannot play any tricks now because public opinion is concentrating on this case, and that’s a great pressure on the prosecution to continue a fair and just investigation,” said MP Hussein Ibrahim, head of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc at the PA.
Furthermore, Bakry said the case does not hinge on the statements by the Public Funds Prosecution. “There are other government agencies that have confirmed the corruption and exploitation of public funds by MPs; these are the Administrative Control Authority and the Central Auditing Agency, whose reports … triggered the investigations.”