A Cairo criminal court has sentenced Egypt's former minister of finance Youssef Boutros Ghali in absentia to 25 years in prison on charges of squandering public funds.
Prosecutors accused Youssef Boutros Ghali of squandering some LE 28 million ($ 4.1 million at current exchange rates) between 2009 and 2010, when he was minister of finance.
According to the court, Boutros Ghali allocated a contract to a British company by direct order and not through a tender offer as the law stipulates.
The contract was to print coupons for cooking gas and gasoline which were to be used in implementing a new distribution system for subsidised oil products.
Investigations also concluded that the ex-minister had deceived the prime minister at the time, Ahmed Nazif, convincing him that the deal was legal.
Egypt’s Illicit Gains Authority notified the stock exchange last Wednesday that the assets of the former finance minister and his family had been frozen.
In June 2011, Boutros-Ghali was sentenced to 30 years in prison in absentia after been convicted of squandering public funds in a separate case. The court also ordered him to return LE30 million and pay an additional LE30 million in fines.
Ghali served as finance minister under former president Hosni Mubarak from 2004 to 2011. He fled Egypt in February 2011.
Ghali, who is living openly in the UK, has been issued with a “red notice” for his arrest by Interpol.