MP Youssef Downplays Negligence Charges over Airport Tunnel Flooding

Al-Mustaqbal MP Ghazi Youssef, Chief Executive Officer of MEAS Company, shrugged off on Friday charges of negligence and vandalism regarding the case of Airport road floods.

The lawmaker expressed surprise over the charges, saying that the company provided during the investigation all the necessary documents that prove that MEAS fully carried out its tasks and cleaned out the drains.

“Technically the pumpers were working and were able to take in all the quantity, however, when al-Ghadir river flooder it invaded the tunnel, which cut electricity off the pumps,” Ghazi told local newspaper.

He explained that the depth of water in the tunnel reach 1.6 meters, while the rain height reached 50 ml.

“The company had previously demanded the Public Works and Transport Ministry to clean the riverbed of al-Ghadir,” Youssef pointed out.

He stressed that pointing fingers will not be useful.

On Thursday, Financial General Prosecutor Judge Ali Ibrahim charged MEAS company with negligence and sabotage in the case of Airport road floods that left hundreds stranded for hours earlier this month.

Ibrahim had heard the testimony from MEAS officials as well as the private contracting company, South for Reconstruction, in addition to Caretaker Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi and Caretaker Public Works and Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi, who gave up his tasks last week after corruption allegations.

Aridi and Safadi were both summoned for questioning after both official engaged in war of words over claims of public fund embezzlement.

Safadi told reporters on Thursday at the Justice Palace that he handed documents to Ibrahim, saying he didn't have any other session with him.

The state-run National News Agency said that the prosecutor will also question two other people linked to the case.

Ibrahim heard on Monday the testimony of Aridi over the same allegations.

Aridi briefed Ibrahim on the details of a press conference he made earlier this month to accuse Safadi of withholding funds from his ministry for road maintenance in an effort to pressure him into approving a construction violation by the finance minister.

Safadi shrugged off the accusations that the finance ministry was responsible for the failure to perform maintenance on sewage networks.

Following his meeting with Ibrahim, Aridi announced that he “would cease his caretaker role from the cabinet and take a break from politics.”

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