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Islamist lawyer charges billionaire Sawiris with illicit gains

Beleaguered Coptic business tycoon and liberal icon Naguib Sawiris accused by Islamic fundamentalist attorney of profiting from close association ‎with ousted Mubarak regime

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jan 2012
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Naguib Sawiris (Photo: Reuters)
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Ali Ismail, a lawyer for Egyptian Islamist movement Al-Jamaa Al-‎Islamiya, has lodged a complaint against Coptic-Christian ‎billionaire Naguib Sawiris with Egypt’s Illicit Gains Authority, ‎accusing the high-profile businessman of the illegal acquisition ‎of wealth.‎

Ismail charges Sawiris with benefiting from his close association ‎with the ousted Mubarak regime, which sold the tycoon large ‎tracts of state land at a discount that he later resold at inflated ‎prices. Ismail further alleges that the former regime granted ‎Sawiris the license for his lucrative MobiNil mobile-phone ‎network at a reduced price, thus wasting public money. ‎

Ismail’s lawsuit represents the second to be filed against Sawiris ‎recently. Islamist lawyer Mamdouh Ismail earlier filed a complaint ‎with Egypt’s public prosecutor accusing Sawiris of disrespecting ‎Islam after the latter posted images of Mickey and Minnie Mouse ‎wearing Islamic garb on his official Facebook page. ‎

The offensive images caused an uproar among conservative ‎Muslims when they were posted last summer. Sawiris, founder ‎of the liberal Free Egyptians party, removed the pictures after ‎receiving a deluge of complaints, which prompted him to issue a ‎hasty apology and publicly stress his respect for Islam and ‎Muslims.‎

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