Egypt detains ex-Mubarak aide in graft probe

The Egyptian judiciary ordered on Thursday that the former chief of staff to toppled president Hosni Mubarak be detained for 15 days in an investigation into allegations of illegal gains, the state news agency reported.

Zakaria Azmi, who was one of Mubarak's closest aides, was questioned this week by Essam el-Gawahri, a senior Justice Ministry official heading a committee in charge of uncovering corruption during Mubarak's 30-year rule. Azmi is one of a series of officials to be investigated.

On Monday Egypt froze Azmi's assets along with those of two other top officials in a move to meet a demand of reformers seeking tough action against figures of the past administration.

Reformers who drove the mass street protests that ousted Mubarak on February 11 have demanded tougher steps to recover assets they say Mubarak and others took from the state.

Egypt's public prosecutor had earlier ordered auditing and supervisory authorities to investigate claims made against some former politicians.

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