Egyptian court to begin retrial of steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz in April

Elsayed Gamal Eldeen, Tuesday 25 Mar 2014

Ezz and six others will face retrial on charges of profiteering and squandering public funds, among others

File Photo: Steel magnate and former National Democratic Party leader Ahmed Ezz is during his trial (Photo: Reuters)

South Cairo criminal court will hold the first session of the Ezz El-Dekheila retrial case on 12 April where steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz and six other former state officials face charges of profiteering and squandering public funds.

Ezz was sentenced to 37 years in prison in March, 2013, but the Egyptian Court of Cassation overturned the verdict to allow for a retrial in December, 2013.

The steel tycoon's Ezz Steel has a 55 percent stake in Ezz El-Dekheila, the largest steel producer in the Middle East. It was previously known as Alexandria National Iron and Steel Company (ANISC) before Ezz, then a mid-rank steel manufacturer, was called in to bail-out the struggling publicly-owned company in 1999.

Ezz, who remains in detention, is to be retried on other corruption charges as well, including money laundering, illegally procuring steel licenses, and receiving unmerited benefits from Egypt’s Industrial Modernisation Centre.

Overall, Ezz has received cumulative sentences of 60 years in prison, but he will stand for many additional retrials as his appeals have been accepted in many of these cases.

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