Widening a crackdown on former key officials, Egyptian authorities have detained Safwat Al-Sherif, the former secretary general of the country's largest National Democratic Party, in signs that the noose may be tightening against ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Al-Sherif was detained for 15 days on corruption charges and interrogated for 12-hours, Al Arabiya reported quoting state news agency MENA.
Sherif was a key ally of the former president and served as Egypt's public face for over 20 years as the information minister. A special panel formed to uncover illicit gains has also summoned Fathi Sorour, former Speaker of the Lower House for questioning on Wednesday over allegations that he has amassed large amounts of money illegally.
The hauling up of the two top officials comes as clamour grows in the country for putting the deposed Mubarak on public trial for corruption and human rights violations.
Thousands of people continued their sit-in at the Egyptian capital's iconic Tahrir Square demanding a trial for Mubarak.
Pro-democracy protesters, who have reappeared in the Square have repeatedly clashed with the military on their demand that all former top officials including Mubarak be tried.
Egyptian attorney general Abdul Meguid Mahmood has summoned Mubarak and his two sons over accusations of use of violence against protesters during the anti-government demonstrations that led to toppling of the former president.
The summons for appearance for the former Egyptian ironman came after Mubarak came out of his self imposed seclusion to decry what he termed as an "unjust campaign against him and declared that he did not own any assets abroad."
"All measures would be taken to ensure the safety of Mubarak and his sons during their appearance," the interior minister, Mansur Essawy said.
But no date was announced, Al Jazeera reported, saying that the minister had warned that if Mubarak refused to show up he could face arrest.