Egyptian Chronicles: About Egypt’s latest PM Sherif Ismail

Sunday, September 13, 2015

About Egypt’s latest PM Sherif Ismail

It has not passed a few hours when suddenly we found that Egypt’s Newest PM Sherif Ismail got very interesting history.
As journalists began to search online for more information about the new Prime minister, they found
his name appearing in very interesting cases when it comes to corruption.
PM Sherif Ismail 
First of all, it turns out that PM Ismail’s testimony in the famous Mubarak era’s Egypt-Israel gas deal trial. If you remember in this trial Mubarak’s minister of petroleum Sameh Fahmy and Mubarak’s best friend Hussein Salem as well their associates were accused of squandering public funds in the highly controversial gas deal with Israel.
In 2005,  the Egyptian government agreed to export gas to Israel with lower prices than the international average prices. Egypt lost millions.
In the same year, Sherif Ismail who was occupying the undersecretary of Egypt’s ministry of oil was appointed as the CEO of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company “EGAS” till 2007.
In both positions, Ismail played a role in the agreement as a witness.
In 2012 Hussein Salem and Sameh Fahmy were both sentenced to 15 years in jail by Cairo Criminal court for squandering public funds in the gas deal.
During then, Fahmy’s legal defense team said that ousted President Mubarak was the “sole architect” of the deal with Israel.
In March 2013, Egypt’s court of cassation ordered a retrial for both Fahmy and Salem.
In August 2014, Sherif Ismail testified in court as the ministry of oil’s undersecretary during the deal in 2005. Ismail claimed that Mubarak did not play any role to make the deal with Israel pass or to assign the natural gas export to his best friend Hussein Salem. He also claimed that there were no losses or harms to Egypt from that deal officially ended in 2012.
Sawt Al-Oma published the testimony of the current prime minister in the court in Arabic.
That testimony allegedly played a critical role in acquitting Sameh Fahmy and five others associates in February 2015


FYI, Hussien Salem is still on the run or rather is still in Spain enjoying his life as a proud Spanish citizen.
I wonder if he will cut a new deal to return Egypt after all with the new PM.
Now in January, Sherif Ismail stated Egypt did not mind importing ‘yes importing’ gas from Israel.
The negotiations are still on.
Of course the question here is not only about Israel and the controversy surrounding its gas but how Egypt turned from gas exporter to importer.
Anyhow, luck seems to be on our side because late August Italian energy company ENI announced that it found a huge gas reservoir in the Zohr field. That discovery was labeled as the biggest discovery in Mediterranean. Nevertheless, Ismail disappointed many people that that discovery would not undermine the private-sector negotiations to buy gas from Israel or Cyprus.
Realistically speaking, we are in the bad need of gas now and Zohr is not available for use on the short term.
Now after ten years of that controversial agreement, Sherif Ismail has become Egypt’s Prime minister ironically.
This is the first thing the Egyptian journalists found about the new prime minister. You can debate about the role of Ismail in the Egyptian-Israeli gas debate till next month or even year. Already I am not on the wagon of accusing him of being the man who orchestrated the deal because we know that it was Mubarak, Salem and Omar Suleiman. The ministry of oil was ordered by Mubarak.
Nevertheless, there is extremely another dark spot that is already overshadowing him. That dark spot is his relation with self-claimed journalist/Politician Mohamed Fouda.
Now for the foreign reader who is clueless about that interesting character, Mohamed Fouda is already arrested and detained pending investigation in the corruption probe in the ministry of agriculture. That corruption scandal is believed to be one of the main reasons behind the resignation of Ibrahim Mahlab’s cabinet.
Already Fouda was convicted before in an old corruption case during Mubarak’s era involving pieces of lands where he used his connections as the minister of culture’s chief of staff to bribe Giza governor.
Nevertheless, he made a powerful comeback in 2013.
Mohamed Fouda deserves a standalone post.
The man for all ages already got a very interesting story that can be perfect a Non-fiction drama about politics, money, power, media, sex and corruption in a third-world country like Egypt.
Now we found photos online showing Fouda meeting Ismail at the oil ministry as well with him at Fouda’s homeland in Gharbia governorate inaugurating a project to build some gas station last year.
Here is a photo for them circulating online from a meeting between the two men in April 2014 at the ministry where the two men discussed building that gas station in Gharbia.
Mohamed Fouda with minister then Sherif Ismail
at the later's office in ministry of petroleum 
From his side, Fouda wrote that op-ed praising Sherif Ismail describing him as a warrior in Pro-regime Youm7 website.
Knowing how corrupted Fouda is, people are asking questions about the nature of that relation between the new PM and him.
Notorious Pro-regime and close to presidency TV host Ahmed Moussa defended Fouda as well the new PM claiming that he met him as a journalist.
I am afraid the name of “Mohamed Fouda” is like a stain now !!
Speaking about Fouda
Here is Pro-regime notorious bigger-than-life Mortada Mansour attacked Ismail and even dared to criticized Abdel Fattah for appointing him.
“Ask Sherif Ismail how many times he met with Fouda !!” Mortada Mansour said on LTC TV channel during a Sports TV channel speaking to El-Sisi asking him to “revise his decision” and “not to be like Mubarak”
Mansour to El-Sisi : Do not be like Mubarak
Mansour already slammed Ismail in August for allegedly appointing his wife and her brother as well her niece in Egypt’s Engineering for the Petroleum and Process Industries “ENPPI” against the law.

It is worth to mention that Mansour was angry from Sherif Ismail and ENPPI in particular because some footballer’s deal. ENPPI got a football in the Premier league.
There is another video about the new PM making rounds. If you are a fan of El-Sisi’s alleged audio leaks , you would appreciate that reference. In the infamous leak released in February about Gulf financial aids to Egypt , allegedly Abbas Kamel , El-Sisi’s chief of Staff is heard mocking disrespectfully Sherif Ismail , the minister of oil then describing him as “ That loser boy”
Of course we can be sure of the authenticity of such leak.
This audio found its way to the Pro-Muslim Brotherhood pages as Al-Jazeera TV channel.The MB pages are now calling Ismail “Loser boy” !!!
This is our new PM and You can imagine how things will be for him if in less than 24 hours , we got all that stuff against him.
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3 comments :

  1. You ask how did we turn fron exporter to importer of gas ?
    Like everything going wrong in the country, you and your revolutionists friends are the primary culprits. Because of your criminal irresponsibility you almost destroyed the country that all sincere patriots are working very hard now to save.

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  2. زنوبيا كل سنة وانت بالف خير يارب
    *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-**-*-*-
    الاخ بيقول انت واصحابك وثورتكم خربتوا البلد..
    طيب سيادتك من 52 والبلد دى مخروبة
    دا ايه الفجر اللى انتم فيه ده ...
    والوطنين كمان بيحاولوا بكل جهدهم لانقاذ البلد
    حضرتك عايش هناك فى البلالا لاند مش كده
    ابقى انزل مصر وعيش هناك وبعدين ابقى ازايد على الشباب
    اللهم كن مع المظلومين بمختلف اطيافهم يارب وانتقم ممكن ظلمهم

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