Egyptian steel tycoon Ezz sentenced to 10 years and fined $111 million

Ahram Online, Thursday 15 Sep 2011

Court finds former NDP whip and two other former industry officials guilty of illegally granting steel licences


Cairo's Criminal Court has sentenced businessman and former NDP chief whip Ahmed Ezz to 10 years in prison on graft charges related to the illegal sale of steel licenses.

Amr Assal, the former chairman of the Industrial Development Authority was also handed a 10-year sentence.

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the former Minister of Trade and Industry, was sentenced to 15 years in absentia.

The court also fined Ezz and Assal LE660 million ($110.9m) and ordered the concerned steel companies to hand back their licences.

Rachid was fined LE1.4 billion and ordered to refund the costs of steel licenses he had helped grant to two companies.

In February, an Egyptian prosecutor ordered the detention of Assal, the head of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) for investigation on suspicions of squandering public wealth.

Amr Assal, the head of the IDA was detained on charges that he granted a licence without legal merits to Ezz Steel for a factory in Ain El-Sokhna on the Red Sea.

In June,  former minister of industry Racid was sentenced in absentia to ‎five years in jail after being convicted of embezzling public funds. ‎
He was also ordered to return the sum of LE9.3 million he was found guilty of ‎accumulating during his tenure.‎

Egypt's Ezz Steel Co fell 5.1 percent after the  court decision.

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