Egypt court sentences Mubarak-era PM to 5 years over graft

Ahram Online , Wednesday 22 Jul 2015

Ahmed Nazif was sentenced to three years in jail in 2013 for the unlawful possession of property and for making millions of pounds in illicit gains

 Ahmed Nazif
File photo: Egyptian Former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif (Photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian criminal court has sentenced former prime minister under ousted president Hosni Mubarak Ahmed Nazif to five years jail over graft charges, toughening an earlier sentence in a retrial.

Nazif was sentenced in September 2012 to three years in jail for the unlawful possession of property and for making millions of pounds in illicit gains from a public-interest company before he lodged an appeal and was allowed a retrial.

However, the court on Wednesday toughened the sentence against him to five years in jail. Nazif, along with his two sons, are also being retried over corruption charges, and was also fined 53.3 million Egyptian pounds (approximately $7 million).

Under Egyptian law, the sentence can still be appealed for a second time before the Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeals court.

His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

The court on Wednesday said strengthening the sentence was due to the fact that the prosecutor, besides the defendant, lodged an appeal- something that legally gives the court the right to toughen the verdict.

Nazif served as prime minister from 2004 until former president Hosni Mubarak replaced him during the popular revolt in January 2011.

He was released in June 2013 because he spent the maximum period in pre-trial detention in a corruption case in which he had been detained since the uprising forced Mubarak out.

Earlier this year, Nazif was acquitted in another graft case in which he and ex-interior minister Habib Al-Adly were sentence to one-year and five years in jail respectively over charges of illegal profiting and squandering public funds.

Many other Mubarak-era figures have been cleared of charges in recent months.

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