File Photo: Steel magnate and former National Democratic Party leader Ahmed Ezz is during his trial (Photo: Reuters)
An Egyptian court ordered the release of steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz on Tuesday on LE50 million bail for charges of profiteering. Ezz was also ordered to be released on bail in other concurrent proceedings. His lawyer, Ahmed Shawki, told Ahram Online on Tuesday that if Ezz pays his cumulative bail and an unpaid LE100 million fine, he should be released from custody.
An Egyptian criminal court in March had ordered the release of Ezz on the condition that he pay LE2 million bail on charges of the illegal acquisition of the state's giant steel plant Ezz El-Dekheila (EZDK).
In September 2013, Ezz's release was also ordered on a bail worth LE100 million, on separate charges of laundering funds related to El-Dekheila.
In mid-2013, Ezz was fined LE100 million on charges of monopolistic practices. The fine and successive bail orders must all be paid prior to release.
Ezz is being retried on several corruption charges, among them illegally acquiring LE6.4 billion between 2003 and 2011 in deals related to his acquisition of Ezz El-Dekheila steel plant.
Over the last three years, Ezz has received cumulative sentences of 60 years in prison, but his appeals have been all accepted and he is currently facing retrials.
Ezz is the former chairman of Ezz Steel and has a 55 percent stake in EZDK, the largest steel complex in the Middle East. It was previously known as Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC) before Ezz, then a mid-rank steel manufacturer, was called in to bail out the struggling publicly-owned company in 1999.
Ezz was secretary-general of Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party prior to the 2011 revolution and was a close associate of the former president's son Gamal Mubarak.