Egypt's court releases Mubarak-era housing minister Sulieman pending final verdict
Ahram Online, , Wednesday 5 Oct 2016

Egypt’s Court of Cassation decided on Wednesday to temporarily suspend a three-year jail sentence handed to Mubarak-era housing minister Ibrahim Suleiman over squandering public funds, pending final verdict in December

The former minister is appealing the jail sentence he received in 2013 for selling public land to real-estate developer SODIC at below market prices.

Suleiman, who served as minister of housing under Mubarak from 1993 to 2005, was found guilty of costing thetreasuryan estimated EGP 1 billion and ordered to pay EGP 970 million in damages and fines back to the state.

His defence team pushed for voiding the sentence against their client, arguing the prosecution's charges were faulty and witnesses' testimonies wrongly attributed.

SODIC is areal-estate development companyowned by fugitive businessman Magdy Rasekh, the father-in-law of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s son Alaa Mubarak.

In 2013, an appeals court lowered the initial five-year jail sentence Suleiman received in his first trial in March 2012 to three years.

Rasekh, who received afive yearjail sentence in absentia in the same case as Suleiman, must turn himself in to authorities before requesting a retrial.