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Egypt's steel tycoon Ezz gives up second license before judges in retrial

The former chairman of Ezz Steel was released last August after three years in jail on corruption charges

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Mar 2015
Ahmed Ezz
Ahmed Ezz (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Mubarak era steel tycoon, Ahmed Ezz, returned to the state a steel license acquired illegally in 2009 in response to an ongoing trial in the criminal court.

The former chairman of Ezz Steel, along with the former head of the Industrial Development Authority Amr Assal, face retrial in a case of squandering public money worth LE660 million in relation to the improper acquisition and use of the license.

According to his lawyer, Ahmed Shawqi, the law stipulates that a steel producer cannot have more than one steel license.

They were handed ten-year jail sentences in December 2014.

Ezz's lawyer Mohamed Tanweer told Ahram Online that his client has no expectations regarding the legal consequences of giving up the steel license, explaining that the motive was "technical rather than legal."

"When the license was acquired [in 2009] it was to provide the company with gas and electricity, which has not happened since then and hence caused us losses... above all it is now a reason for my client to go to jail so we have decided to give it up," he said.

Ezz already paid a LE10 million fine to settle another case with charges of monopolising the steel industry and is currently undergoing a retrial of a third case for allegedly illegally acquiring Ezz El-Dekheila (EZDK) steel plant, Shawqi said.

Ezz, who has a 55 percent stake in EZDK, the largest steel complex in the Middle East, was released last August after spending three years behind bars on corruption charges.

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