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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:27 am

Official defends hiring son of Egyptian president

By SARAH EL DEEBAssociated Press

Egypt's aviation minister says the hiring of President Mohammed Morsi's son to a highly-paid government job was justified, dismissing accusations of nepotism.

Wael el-Maadawi told the state MENA news agency that Omar Morsi went through regular procedures before he was hired by the state holding company for airports and aviation.

An airport official familiar with the appointment said Thursday that Omar, one of the president's five children and a recent university graduate, got the internally-advertised job in a department that usually hires with a starting monthly salary of $5,000.

Such a figure is unheard of for new graduates in Egypt, where the starting salary for a government job can be as low as $75.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to the media.