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Former NDP whip Ezz on trial for monopolising Egyptian steel

The one-time mover and shaker in Mubarak's defunct NDP faces new legal troubles

Ahram Online, Tuesday 1 Jan 2013
Ezz
File photo: Ahmed Ezz, a senior leader in former President Hosni Mubarak's party and chairman of Ezz Steel, arrives in a police vehicle outside the court in north Cairo February 23, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egyptian steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz was referred to the economic felonies court on Tuesday on charges of engaging in monopolistic practices in the Egyptian steel market.

Ezz – the secretary-general off Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) – is the former chairman of Ezz Steel, the largest steel maker in the region.

The managing director of Ezz Steel, Alaa Abul-Kheir, and the group's sales manager, Samir Noaman, were also referred to court on the same charges.

Ezz Steel controls some 50 per cent of Egypt's steel market. In 2009 the company was cleared of any violations of the monopoly law by the Egyptian Competition Authority.

Despite so, Ezz Steel still carries a reputation that it unfairly monopolises the Egyptian steel rebar market. 

Following the ousting of President Mubarak in 2011, Ahmed Ezz became entangled in legal trouble. He was dismissed from his position as chairman of Ezz Dekheila in May 2011 and is currently under guard at Tora Prison in southern Cairo.

He was handed a 7-year jail sentence in October 2012 for illicit profiteering and appropriation of public funds related to the acquisition of the previously state owned Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (later renamed Ezz el-Dekheila).

In December, however, Egypt's Court of Cassation cancelled another 10-year sentence he was handed on graft charges related to the illegal sale of steel licenses. 

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