Egypt's former Housing Minister Ahmed el-Maghrabi (Photo: Reuters)
Cairo Criminal Court has acquitted former housing minister Ahmed El-Maghrabi and businessman Mounir Ghabbour of illegally acquiring public lands.
In May 2011, a court slapped the former minister with a five-year jail sentence for facilitating the acquisition of 18 feddans (roughly 18 acres) of land in the suburb of New Cairo by Ghabbour's tourism company, Sakara for Investment, at an under-priced rate.
The businessman received a suspended one-year sentence, and both men were fined LE72 million.
The Court of Cassation later cancelled the verdict and subsequently referred the case for retrial.
In April, a Cairo criminal court acquitted El-Maghrabi in a similar case in which he had been charged with illegally selling a piece of land in New Cairo at a low price to a real estate company owned by businessman Akram Adada, who was also acquitted.
El-Maghrabi, who served first as tourism minister then housing minister under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, is currently serving time for other cases in Cairo's Tora Prison.