'Mubarak detention extended over Israel gas deal'

Egyptian state prosecutor says low prices amounted to "hurting country's interests," NY Times reports; ex-energy minister to stand trial.

April 23, 2011 18:05
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak 311 Reu. (photo credit: Reuters TV / Reuters)

A decision by Egyptian prosecutors to extend the remand of former president Hosni Mubarak was partially motivated by questions surrounding the natural gas deal between Cairo and Israel, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The announcement follows news that Egypt’s former oil minister was arrested over the natural gas deal, which is being alleged in Egyptian media as having provided below-market prices to the Jewish state.

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The Egyptian prosecutor’s spokesman said Mubarak was being questioned about the low prices involved in the deal that amounted to “hurting the country’s interests,” the Times reported.

According to the spokesman, Egypt lost more than $714 million in revenue in the deal.

Mubarak’s condition deteriorated on Friday night, following the prosecutor’s decision to extend his detention by 15 days, the Londonbased Asharq al-Awsat reported.

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