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Ahmed Ezz release conditional on new bail offer

Mubarak-era Steel tycoon will be released if he pays LE2 million bail

Elsayed Gamal Eldeen, Monday 10 Mar 2014
Ahmed Ezz, a senior leader in former President Hosni Mubarak's party and chairman of Ezz Steel (Photo: Reuters)
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An Egyptian criminal court on Monday ordered the release of steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz on condition of paying a LE2 million bail, on charges of illegal acquisition of the state's giant steel plant Ezz El-Dekheila.

In September 2013, Ezz's release was ordered for a bail worth LE100 million, on separate charges of laundering funds related to El-Dekheila.

"Ezz will be released only if he pays LE202 million, comprising LE100 million bail, LE100 million unpaid fine and the recent LE2 million," Ahmed Shawki, Ezz's lawyer told Ahram Online.

"After paying the bail, he will be released as the maximum period of detention has been reached," said Shawki.

In mid-2013, Ezz was fined LE100 million on charges of monopolistic practices.

According to Shawki, the fine came as the prosecution general appealed the Egyptian economic felonies court's verdict when it acquitted Ezz on the monopolistic practices charge in June 2013.

Ezz is being retried on several corruption charges, among them illegally acquiring LE6.4 billion between 2003 and 2011 in deals related to his acquisition of Ezz El-Dekheila (EZDK) steel plant.

Over the last three years, Ezz has received cumulative sentences of 60 years in prison, but his appeals have been all accepted and he is currently facing retrials.

Ezz is the former chairman of Ezz Steel and has a 55 percent stake in EZDK, the largest steel complex in the Middle East. It was previously known as Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC) before Ezz, then a mid-rank steel manufacturer, was called in to bail out the struggling publicly-owned company in 1999.

Ezz was secretary-general of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party prior to the 2011 revolution and was a close associate of the former president's son Gamal Mubarak.

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