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Mubarak-era tourism and housing ministers to be freed

Former housing minister Ahmed El-Maghrabi and former tourism minister Zohair Garana have been in detention since 2011 on multiple charges of corruption

El-Sayed Gamal, Wednesday 12 Jun 2013
El-Maghrabi and Garana
Egypt's former housing minister Ahmed El-Maghrabi (R) and former tourism minister Zohair Garana (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Public Fund Prosecution ordered on Wednesday the release of former housing minister Ahmed El-Maghrabi and former tourism minister Zohair Garana after they paid LE2 million in total compensation to the state. They will be released but not acquitted of the charges, pending further investigation of the case.

Both former ministers, who still face other accusations of squandering public funds, were accused of allocating high-class chalets in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria to figures belonging to Mubarak's regime, violating the law.

In addition, an Egyptian court ordered in February the retrial of Garana who was sentenced to three years on corruption charges related to issuing licenses to tourism agencies that he and his business acquaintances owned. The retrial is still ongoing.

In December 2012, Egypt's Court of Cassation cancelled a verdict convicting El-Maghrabi of squandering and profiteering from public funds, ordering his retrial. That case is also still ongoing.

El-Maghrabi and Garana served as ministers under deposed president Hosni Mubarak.

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