Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:25pm GMT

CAIRO, July 14 (Reuters) – Egyptian authorities detained former prime minister Atef Obeid for 15 days to investigate allegations he illegally sold land well below market value, judicial sources said on Thursday.

Since a popular uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February, Egyptian prosecutors have been investigating corruption allegations made against former officials and businessmen connected with his 30 years in power.

Judge Ahmed Edrees, commissioned by the Justice Ministry to investigate corruption in the agriculture ministry, accused Obeid and Youssef Wali, former deputy prime minister, of illegally selling land in Luxor in the south of Egypt.

The pair are charged with selling the plot to businessman Hussein Salem, a close confidant to Mubarak, for 8 million Egyptian pounds ($1.3 million) when the value of the land was 208 million pounds.

The land was also sold illegally because it is a protected nature reserve, Edrees said… Read More.