Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday flatly denied allegations of corruption made by an Egyptian businessman, assuring he was “honest and faithful” to his people and army.
Videos posted online from outside the country since early September accusing al-Sisi and Egypt’s military of graft have gone viral, sparking rare debate about the army’s growing economic empire.
The man behind them, 45-year-old construction contractor Mohamed Aly, claims that authorities have misappropriated millions of Egyptian pounds in public funds.
He also alleges the military owes him hundreds of millions of pounds for projects his company was commissioned to build, including palatial residences for al-Sisi.
Al-Sisi told a youth conference in Cairo on Saturday the accusations were “lies and slander” designed to “break the will (of Egyptians) and make them lose all hope and confidence.”
Quoted by local TV, al-Sisi said he decided to speak out despite “calls from all state bodies” for him not to respond.
“Your son is honest, faithful and loyal,” he added.
Aly - who says he has fled to Spain - has not provided evidence to back up his claims and the Egyptian armed forces declined an AFP request to comment.