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Egyptian contractor accused of ‘high treason’ after detailing alleged military corruption

An Egyptian lawyer on Wednesday demanded a military contractor should be charged with high treason, after accusing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of corruption and wasting public funds.

Egyptian lawyer Mohammed Hamed Salem filed a complaint with Attorney General Nabil Sadek on Wednesday, accusing the owner of Mohammed Ali, Amlak Contracting, of committing “high treason” and “spreading false news to mislead public opinion”.

Ali, who worked with the Egyptian military on construction projects for 15 years, accused Sisi, his wife Intisar and other senior military officials and ministers of corruption in a Facebook video, which has since been taken down.

“The aim of broadcasting the video is high treason,” the complaint against Ali read. It also described Ali as a “fugitive artist” that “contradicted himself”.

Ali divulged the details of the cases in a video posted on Monday on Facebook from Barcelona, Spain, where he currently resides with his family.

The contractor alleged that the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces assigns projects to companies by direct order, rather than through tender. It then has the companies start work without payment.

Ali said this was the case with his own company – Amlak Contracting. He claims he is owed 220 million Egyptian pounds ($13.3 million) by Sisi’s government.

In his video, Ali accused President Sisi of lying poverty in Egypt.

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in 2014, his government has enforced a strict austerity programme designed to jump-start the economy. But the measures to cut subsidies has hit working and middle class Egyptians particularly hard.

Egypt’s official statistics agency revealed in July that one in three Egyptians are living in poverty.

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