Court orders release of ex-housing minister in SODIC corruption case
Ahram Online, El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 20 Apr 2013
Court authorises the release of Mubarak's ex-housing minister while retried for squandering public funds

A Cairo Criminal Court has ordered on Saturday the release of ex-housing minister Ibrahim Suleiman without bail.

Suleiman is currently facing retrial on charges of squandering public funds in the Six of October Development & ‎Investment Company (SODIC) corruption case.

Last month, Suleiman successfully appealed a five-year jail sentence, which he had received in March 2012 on charges of selling government land to SODIC at below market prices allegedly costing the state's coffers LE970 million.

SODIC is a real-estate development company owned by fugitive businessman Magdy Rasekh, the father-in-law of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s son Alaa.

Suleiman, the only defendant out of the five officials accused in the case to have been held in preemptive custody, had served 24 months in prison, which according to his lawyer is well above the 18-month legal limit for non-convicted suspects in a case.

The former minister will remain in custody, however, as he serves a three-year sentence for giving his wife and relatives government-built houses.

The court scheduled the next session of the retrial in the SODIC case for 19 May.