Charges dropped against Mubarak-era tycoon accused of profiteering

Charges dropped against Mubarak-era tycoon accused of profiteering
Ahmed Ezz had been previously sentenced to 37 years in prison, but recently paid $96.8 million to settle the case.
2 min read
09 March, 2018
Many Mubarak-era associates, like Ezz (L), have been released post-2013 [Getty]

The Cairo Criminal Court on Thursday dropped charges and lifted a travel ban against Mubarak-era steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz, Reuters reported.

Ezz was previously sentenced to 37 years in prison in 2013 for profiteering and squandering public funds. He reportedly paid 1.7 billion Egyptian pounds ($96.8 million) to reach a settlement for dismissing the charges.

The steel tycoon had been earlier released on bail in July. In December, the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest appeals court, cancelled a 10-year prison sentence handed down to Ezz.

A re-trial had been ordered.

The close Mubarak associate was accused of using his position as a leading official in Mubarak’s now-desolved National Democratic Party (NDP) to secure profits totalling about 5 billion Egyptian pounds.

Ezz has joined the growing ranks of Mubarak-era associates to have been tried and then have charges dropped. In January, an Egyptian court also dismissed the conviction of ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly.

Mubarak was also cleared of all charges brought against him after the uprising, including the deaths of civilian protesters.

The Egyptian military has dominated Egyptian politics and large parts of the country’s economy ever since the 1952 officers’ revolution. President Abdel Fattah al Sisi, a military commander himself, came to power after overthrowing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013 following the popular protests aimed at Morsi.

New elections are due between 26-28 March in Egypt. All serious contenders have been sidelined or arrested as Sisi’s attempts to secure his second term as president.

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