Arab bank head suspected of inciting riot that led to 74 deaths

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of the London-listed Arab investment bank EFG-Hermes has been prevented from leaving Egypt amid allegations that he could have helped to incite the football riot which killed 74 people last week.

An official at Cairo airport said Yasser el-Mallawany was set to fly to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, but authorities barred him from leaving on orders from the country's Attorney General.

A Justice Ministry official told Associated Press that Mr Mallawany, pictured, and Gamal Omar, a close friend of Gamal Mubarak, the son of the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, were being investigated for allegedly paying thugs to attack youths after the football match in Port Said.

During the riot last week, 74 people were killed after the home team, al-Masry, was beaten by Cairo's al-Ahly, whose fans – known as the Ultras – were at the forefront of last year's revolution.

EFG has come under the spotlight since last year for its association with Gamal Mubarak, who owns 18 per cent of the investment bank's subsidiary, EFG-Hermes Private Equity.

EFG-Hermes has offices around the region and has advised companies including Vodafone, Sainsbury's and Heineken.

Mr Mallawany was a member of the policies high committee of Mr Mubarak's National Democratic Party and said his role was to "give ideas regarding the technical issues of finance". Last month, he attended the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.