Businessman and founder of Al-Masry Al-Youm Salah Diab referred to criminal court

Thursday 19 Nov 2015

Salah Diab
File Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm founder Salah Diab (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Giza prosecution referred business tycoon Salah Diab on Thursday to criminal court after being accused of possessing unlicensed firearms.

Giza prosecution decided last week to release Diab on LE50,000 bail after his lawyers presented reports of his chronic medical conditions. His son Tawfik, who is charged on the same case, was released as well on LE10,000 bail after both family members spent three nights in detention over charges of possessing unlicensed firearms.

Diab was arrested early on 8 November at his villa in Giza on charges of possessing unlicensed firearms after security forces stormed his house on orders from the prosecution.

Diab's arrest sparked controversy in Egypt’s business market as many businessmen have seen it as a drawback for Egypt's economy.

Another Cairo criminal court cancelled last week a decision to freeze the financial assets of Diab, Mubarak-era business mogul Mahmoud El-Gammal, and 16 others, with only assets related to the New Giza housing compound project still frozen.

Diab, a business mogul and co-founder of Al-Masry Al-Youm, one of Egypt's largest privately-owned daily newspapers, is accused along with 15 others of illegally acquiring state-owned land where their New Giza housing compound project is situated.

He's also the co-founder of PICO group which has five main business branches including food and agriculture, real estate, energy, engineering and finance investments.

Some press reports suggest that Diab's enterprises include around 10,000 employees.

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