Egyptian Contractor Accused of ‘High Treason’ after Detailing Alleged Military Corruption

The owner of Amlak Contracting, Mohammed Ali, has been accused of ‘high treason’ for a video he posted on Facebook detailing corruption in Sisi’s regime

Mohamed Ali

An Egyptian lawyer on Wednesday demanded a military contractor should be charged with high treason, after accusing Egypt’s 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.

Ali explained that his story started when the Armed Forces Engineering Authority assigned him to start immediately digging the foundations of a huge hotel for the military intelligence in Choueifat, al-Tagamo’ al-Khames (Fifth Settlement), east of Cairo.

When asked about the reasons for acceleration of the hotel construction without giving any time for preparing feasibility studies for the project, military leaders told him that the president must see that the work in the hotel construction has already started, noting that the area (Choueifat) is not a touristic area to accommodate the new hotel, especially that there are other hotels nearby.

Ali said the secret behind building a hotel in this area is to meet the desire of a Maj. General at the military intelligence, a close friend of Sisi, who wanted to build the hotel on a piece of land in front of his house.

Ali explained that the Engineering Authority assigned him to carry out the project by direct order, not through a tender involving several companies, which he considered the beginning of real corruption. Ali pointed out that the financing comes through bank loans in the name of the contractor but with the guarantee of the army, which implicated many contractors with government and private banks.

The Egyptian contractor and actor also talked about another dramatic incident, when the engineering authority instructed him before the disputes to withdraw all workers and go to build a special rest house for Sisi in Alexandria’s Mamoura area. The military leaders told him that this was a top priority, because al-Sisi decided to spend the Eid al-Adha holiday there.

Ali explained that the rest house cost about LE 250 million, in addition to the price of furniture and the price of the land itself, pointing out that Ms. Intisar, wife of Sisi, ordered additional amendments costing about LE 25 million.

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

Since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power in a military coup in 2013, his government has enforced a strict strategy program 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.