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Former minister's Israel gas trial to resume on Wednesday

Sameh Fahmy, accused of corruption in relation to the Israeli gas deal, will be transferred to a prison closer to hospital because of his deteriorating health

Ahram Online, Tuesday 1 May 2012
Sameh Fahmy
Egypt's oil minister between 1999 and 2011, Sameh Fahmy (Photo: Reuters)
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The trial of former oil minister Sameh Fahmy, who held his post under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, is to resume on Wednesday, after a one-day pause because of the 1 May labour day holiday.

Fahmy is to be transferred to Mazraa prison, located closer to Tora hospital, because of his deteriorating health status.

Fahmy, who served as oil minister from 1999 to 2011, is standing trial alongside six other officials on charges of squandering public funds related to the sale of natural gas to Israel. 

Egypt agreed to provide Israel with natural gas in 2005, in a deal built on the two countries' landmark 1979 peace accords. The prosecution claims the agreement caused losses to Egypt of over $714 million.

Egypt last week unilaterally terminated the gas export contract with Israel. Officials cited a commercial dispute but other Egyptian commentators suggested the cancellation of the deeply unpopular deal was politically motivated.

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