Egyptian judicial sources yesterday revealed the names of the four defendants referred last week for a criminal trial in the case known in the media as “the health ministry bribery case”.

Last Wednesday, Public Prosecutor Hamada El-Sawy ordered the referral of the four defendants to criminal trial, without disclosing their names, on charges of abusing power and taking bribes to reverse a decision to close an unlicensed private hospital.

Yesterday, judicial sources identified the defendants as Mohamed Ahmed Beheiry, the general manager for licensing non-governmental medical institutions at the Ministry of Health; Malek Attiya Ibrahim El-Fayoumy, one of the owners of the hospital; Mohamed Abdel-Meguid Hussein El-Ashaab, a specialist at an insurance company and the ex-husband of Minister of Health Hala Zayed; and Hossam El-Din Fouda, a retired officer.

Last week, local media outlets said Beheiry is accused of abusing power, demanding a five million Egyptian pound ($317,900) bribe, accepting 600,000 Egyptian pounds ($38,150) from the owners of a private hospital in return for reversing a closure decision, and preparing a report that falsely denied evidence of violations at the hospital.

The two other defendants are accused of mediating the bribe, while a fourth defendant faces forgery accusations.

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