Former minister Rachid Mohamed Rashid (Photo: Ahram)
Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Egypt's former trade and industry minister, is still wanted by Egyptian authorities pending investigation of graft charges related to the illegal sale of steel-manufacturing licenses, Mostafa Deweidar, spokesman for the office of Egypt's prosecutor-general, told Ahram Online on Sunday.
After paying a fine of LE15 million (roughly $2.2 million), Rachid was let off in two other legal cases in which he had been accused of squandering public funds while serving as trade minister.
On Sunday, reports emerged that Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah had removed the ex-minister's name from Egypt's watch-list – a move denied by Dewidar.
Legal experts, requesting anonymity, told Ahram Online that Rachid's settlement of the two other cases would pave the way for similar 'reconciliation' deals with fugitive Mubarak-era figures.
Rachid filed a request on Sunday asking the prosecutor-general to take his name off Egypt's watch-list and unfreeze his overseas accounts, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website reported.
From 2004 to 2011, Rachid – who currently resides outside the country – served as trade and industry minister for ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
In 2011, in the wake of Egypt's Tahrir Square uprising, the former minister was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison on graft and corruption charges.