Ahmed Ezz, a senior leader in former President Hosni Mubarak's party and chairman of Ezz Steel (Photo: Reuters)
A Giza criminal court sentenced Egyptian businessman Ahmed Ezz to prison sentences totaling 37 years, as well as a fine of LE2 billion, on Wednesday on charges of illegally acquiring shares in the Dekheila steel company.
According to Egyptian law, he will serve the sentences concurrently, and will not be in prison for more than 25 years, pending a successful appeal. Further details of the sentencing are yet to be released by the court.
The court also slapped former minister of industry Ibrahim Mohamadein with a suspended sentence of one year and a LE687 million fine for his role in the case.
Five officials from what became the Ezz Dekheila steel company after acquisition by Ezz Steel were are also involved in the case.
Ezz Steel has a 55 percent stake in Ezz Dekheila, the largest steel complex in the Middle East. It was previously known as Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC) before Ahmed Ezz, then a mid-rank steel manufacturer, was called in to bail-out the struggling publicly-owned company in 1999.
Using his companies Ezz Steel and Ezz Industries, Ezz gradually increased his holding of ANISC, changed its name and became the chairman of the region's largest steel conglomerate.
Ezz, a prominent figure in the former ruling National Democratic Party, was arrested early into the revolution in January 2011.
He quit the board of Ezz Steel and Ezz Dekheila Steel in the spring of 2011.