February 7, 2011 / 3:41 PM / 8 years ago

Egypt's ex-police chief appears before prosecutors

CAIRO (Reuters) - Former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib el-Adli has appeared before military prosecutors and may face charges of causing a breakdown in order, a security source said on Monday, during protests against President Hosni Mubarak.

The source said Adli, who was in court on Sunday, could be charged with withdrawing security forces from the streets during the uprising, ordering live fire on protesters and releasing prisoners from jail.

After battling massive protests around the country on January 28, security forces suddenly disappeared from the streets of Egypt. Several days of looting and lawlessness followed and many prisoners escaped prison.

Mubarak responded to the protests by appointing a new cabinet and a vice president. The government opened investigations into some ministers and the ruling National Democratic Party removed some senior figures.

The former housing minister, Ahmed el-Maghrabi, appeared before prosecutors on Monday to face charges of wasting public money and seizing state land, the state news agency Mena said.

“The complaints accuse him of violating state property, seizing public money and enriching himself unjustifiably,” said the Mena report.

Businessman Ahmed Ezz and former ministers Rachid Mohamed Rachid and Zuhair Garana are also under investigation. All five men are banned from travel abroad and have had their bank accounts frozen.

Rachid has denied wrongdoing. The other men have yet to comment.

Reporting by Andrew Hammond; editing by Mark Heinrich

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