File Photo: Mubarak era minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid (Photo: Reuters)
A Cairo Criminal Court quashed Saturday criminal proceedings against Mubarak era Trade Minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid following reconciliation with the government.
The Saturday decision comes at the request of the Egyptian Ministry of Justice Asset Recovery Committee, which approved in November a settlement deal with Rashid.
According to the reconciliation deal, all criminal charges against Rashid, who left the country since the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, would be dropped. He would be required to give up nearly EGP 500 million to the government, a judicial source told Ahram Online in November.
The “Steel Licenses” case, in which criminal proceedings have now been terminated against Rashid, led to the sentencing of the former minister to 15 years in absentia and a fine of EGP 1.4 billion for squandering nearly EGP 600 million in public funds after issuing questionable licenses to steel business tycoon and former leading figure in the now-dissolved National Democratic Party Ahmed Ezz.
However, last December, Egypt’s Court of Cassation overturned a criminal court ruling against ex-minister Rashid, business mogul Ezz and Amr Assal, the former chairman of the Industrial Development Authority, ordering a retrial for the defendants in front of a new court circuit.
Both Ezz and Assal, earlier sentenced to 10 years in prison, had their trial postponed to 7 March during Saturday’s court hearing.