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Retrial of Mubarak-era official in Egypt-Israel gas case starts Sunday

Former petroleum minister Sameh Fahmy was sentenced to 15 years in jail in June 2012 for squandering public funds in a gas deal with Israel

Ahram Online, Sunday 26 Jan 2014
Sameh Fahmy
File photo: Mubarak's era petroleum minister Sameh Fahmy (Photo: Reuters)
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The retrial of Mubarak-era petroleum minister Sameh Fahmy and five of his associates in the Egypt-Israel gas case starts on Sunday. 

On 25 March, the Court of Cassation ordered the retrial of Fahmy, who together with business tycoon Hussein Salem, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in June 2012 for squandering public funds in a gas deal with Israel.

Fahmy submitted an appeal against the original conviction and the court ordered a retrial.

Salem, however, still faces a 15-year sentence and has not appealed his verdict as he was convicted in absentia.

Egypt agreed to provide Israel with natural gas in 2005 in a deal built on the landmark 1979 peace accords. The public prosecution claimed the agreement lost Egypt over $714 million.

Salem, a founding shareholder of East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which supplied Israel with gas from June 2008, was accused of collaborating with EMG to profit from gas deals with Israel.

Egypt unilaterally terminated its natural gas export contract with Israel in April 2012.

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