Islamist lawyer charges billionaire Sawiris with illicit gains

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jan 2012

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

Naguib Sawiris (Photo: Reuters)

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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