FILE- Egyptian steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz during his retrial before the State Council over corruption charges- Egypt Today/Amr Moustafa
CAIRO – 12 August 2018: Cairo Criminal Court dismissed Sunday the last lawsuit filed against Egyptian steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz following the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. The lawsuit accused Ezz of money laundering charges.
Inking a reconciliation deal worth LE100 million ($5.6 million) with the Egyptian government, the lawsuit against Ezz was dropped. By a court ruling few months ago, travel ban on the Egyptian businessman was lifted and his assets were unfrozen.
In 2012, the Criminal Court sentenced Ezz for 7 years in prison over money laundering charges. Ezz was referred to the Criminal Court after the State Security Prosecution found that the Egyptian businessman has made, in cooperation with others, about LE 4.8 billion ($269,043,216) in illicit gains in 10 years, during his term as the CEO of Dekheila Steel company.
Ezz also reconciled with the state in another two major lawsuits issued against him.
Dekheila steel, steel licenses lawsuits
The Prosecution’s investigation had found that former Industry Minister Ibrahim Mohamedeen illegally enabled Ezz to make about LE 687.4 million ($38.5 million) of illicit gains between 1999 and 2001 in the lawsuit known in media as “Dekheila Steel” that was filed against Ezz, Mohamedeen and 5 other Industry Ministry officials.
Moreover, investigations found that Ezz and Amr Assal, the former head of the industrial development authority squandered LE 660 million ($36.9 million) of public funds in the lawsuit known in media as “Steel Licences.”
In March, 2013, Ezz had been sentenced for 37 years in prison and fined him LE 2 billion ($112 million), before the Cassation Court cancelled the verdict and ordered the retrial of Ezz along with the other 6 defendants who had received sentences ranging from 3 to 7 years in prison.
In February, 2018, Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said that Ezz will pay LE 1.7 billion ($95.3 million) to reconcile with the government.
In March, a Cairo criminal court dropped the lawsuit filed against Ezz and Assal. A month later, a court also dismissed the lawsuit filed against Ezz and the Industry Ministry after a reconciliation deal was inked.
Ezz was the secretary-general of the National Democratic Party (NDP) that was dissolved following the 2011 revolution. He also served as the spokesman of the party in the Parliament that was dominated at the time by the NDP.
Since the January revolution in 2011, The Egyptian judicial authority has judged a number of Mubarak-era officials over accusations including corruption, squandering public funds, and killing protestors.